February 4 - Pete the mountain lion and Earl the raccoon have been unveiled as the official mascots of the 2015 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships in the United States.
The two "gregarious" characters - who pay tribute to Vail Ski Resort founders Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton - will make special appearances throughout the coming year to promote the showpiece tournament, which will take place in Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado on February 2-15.
They will also be in attendance throughout the two-week competition.
"We are thrilled to welcome Pete and Earl to the 2015 World Championships family," said Ceil Folz, President of the Vail Valley Foundation.
"They will share their love of the mountains, bring to life the fun and excitement of the races and share our community's sense of hospitality with everyone that comes to Vail and Beaver Creek for the 2015 World Championships.
"By selecting to name the mascots Pete and Earl we chose to honour the real Pete and Earl for their ingenuity, their dedication, their perseverance and their incredible dedication to a dream.
"That dream is just as alive today as it was in that first season, continued every day by everyone who has chosen to live and work here and calls the Vail Valley our home.
"In essence, Pete and Earl represent all of us."
Pete and Earl will join Disney character Sport Goofy, who served as the official mascot for Vail and Beaver Creek's 1989 World Championships, as well as Dusty the golden eagle, who was the mascot of the 1999 World Championships.
The 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships is expected to welcome athletes from more than 70 nations, as well as 1,500 members of the international media.
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