Taekwondo star Khaidem Neblett was highlighted on a news programme, AT5, after he rescued the dog from the icy water of the Vondelpark, the largest city park in Amsterdam.
Neblett, who is in Amsterdam attending a Taekwondo training camp and learning bartending, jumped into the river to rescue the dog.
Neblett told Loop via Facebook that he was walking in the park when he heard the dog's owner screaming that the dog was in the lake.
He said at first he tried using branches to reach the dog but that didn't work so he decided to jump into the frozen lake which he described as unbelievably cold. Neblett was dressed in only a vest and short pants when he jumped into the river.
"The owner was just crying and the dog was helpless and that made the decision for me. I love life and animals and humans. I enjoy loving and if it means swimming through ice cold water then it’s worth it in my eyes," he said.
Neblett was taken to hospital for treatment but was released after a few hours. He said he is feeling much better and is very appreciative of the support he has been getting from around the world since his daring rescue was reported.
"Just goes to show why it’s more important to be nice," said Neblett who is a former resident of the St Michael's Home for the Boys and credits Taekwondo for saving his life.
In a 2016 interview with CNC3, he said the sport changed his life, his way of thinking and his commitment.
Neblett's goal is to make it to the 2020 Olympics which will be held in Japan.
His message to the youth is to take time to invest in their lives.
"What I would like to share with the youths is that they should invest to create your life. Invest your time in whatever activities you like doing and you will not only go places but you’ll stand out from the norm," he said.