Olympic Diving Champ Chris Mears Campaigns Against Swim-With-Dolphin Parks

Gold Medalist Calls On Vacationers to Avoid Captive-Animal Attractions in New PETA U.K. Campaign

For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2017

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

London – Olympic champion Chris Mears, who won Britain’s first gold medal for diving in Rio de Janeiro, is now making a splash in PETA U.K.’s first-ever campaign against swim-with-dolphin parks. The poster, shot by top photographer Jack Guy, features Mears in a shimmering pool with his arms outstretched, proclaiming, “Swim-With-Dolphin Parks Are Dripping With Cruelty.”

In the accompanying video spot, Mears reveals that he swam with captive dolphins as a child on vacation with his parents, admitting, “We had absolutely no idea how these animals are treated.” He teamed up with PETA U.K. in the wake of the group’s campaign against SeaWorld, from which he learned that dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals who are often illegally captured and sold to parks around the world.

PETA U.K.—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that in the open ocean, dolphins swim up to 50 miles a day alongside their families and communicate over vast distances by sonar. In marine parks, they’re forced to perform in pools filled with chemically treated water. Their sonar literally bounces off the walls, causing depression, ulcers, and early death.

Mears joins a long list of athletes—including Fu Yuanhui, Amanda Beard, Tony Azevedo, Christen Press, Kara Goucher, and Nick Symmonds—who’ve teamed up with PETA U.K. or its affiliates to promote kindness to animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind