Corty, a red squirrel, has been officially unveiled as the mascot of the 2021 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Having been introduced at last month's FIS Alpine Forum in Sölden, Austria, Corty was unveiled at the major Italian winter sport show, Skipass, in Modena.
The red squirrel is one of the iconic symbols of Cortina d'Ampezzo and is even integrated into the town's logo.
Corty dresses as an Alpine skier and wears the bib of the next edition of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
The mascot will play host to many events scheduled in Cortina d'Ampezzo, starting with Cortina Fashion Weekend from December 6 to 8.
Corty is also said to be ready to set off for a long journey, "Cortina 2021 on Tour – Season 1", with the final destination being Cortina d'Ampezzo for the 2020 FIS Ski World Cup Finals from March 18 to 22.
After attending Skipass’ ribbon-cutting ceremony, the mascot remained in Modena to cheer for big air athletes and participated in Italian Winter Sports Federation initiatives, such as the award ceremony of the Italian Alpine Ski Championships and the celebration of the home athletes.
The soft toy of Corty is produced by Trudi, a company of the Giochi Preziosi Group, and will be sold to the public in the second part of the winter season.
Thanks to Corty, a partnership of "great value" has been established with Giochi Preziosi-Trudi, which has become technical supplier of Fondazione Cortina 2021, the Organising Committee of the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
In addition to the mascot, Giochi Preziosi, a leading company on the Italian market in the traditional toys sector, will also create a board game and day-packs for adults and children.
"We are proud to have started a valuable partnership with Giochi Preziosi-Trudi, which will produce our mascot Corty, the squirrel of the World Championships," Valerio Giacobbi, chief executive of Fondazione Cortina 2021, said.
"We are also convinced that we can ensure maximum visibility for the next FIS Alpine World Ski Championships thanks to this important collaboration, entering into the hearts of children and young people, who are the future of this sport.
"This 'travelling companion' will be with us until 2021 and will become the symbol of Cortina's ability to organise world sporting events in the best possible way, with special attention to environmental sustainability and to the legacy to the community and the local area, and with an extra touch of creativity and charm that only Italy can offer."
Last month, the FIS conducted its seventh inspection of preparations for the 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships.
Officials from the worldwide body travelled to Cortina d'Ampezzo, a co-host of the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, for a two-day visit.
They were given a walk-through of the slope at the venue before a series of technical meetings.