Meet Waskasoo, the 2019 Canada Winter Games mascot.
Waskasoo’s name comes from the Cree name for what is now known as the Red Deer River. The saying “Waskasoo Seepee” translates to “Elk River” and this was the name originally given to the river that flows through our community by the Cree people. Settlers of the area translated Waskasoo Seepee to Red Deer River after mistaking elk for European red deer. Red Deer was then named after the river.
This deer is full of energy and can’t wait for the Games to begin. Waskasoo is 17 years old, born near Buffalo Lake. He has two older siblings, two brothers named Kerry and Wapiti. Waskasoo’s parents moved the family to Red Deer because they wanted to join a growing community filled with hard-working and welcoming people. The family calls Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary their home now.
He has 13 blue, red, grey and yellow spots on his head and body that show his passion for Canada. At least one of his spot colours can be found in every provincial or territorial flag. His antlers form a W for Waskasoo.
The spots were a gift from Mother Nature because of Waskasoo’s kindness towards others - he is a true Canadian. Each spot represents one of the 13 provinces and territories.
Waskasoo has lots of interests! In the summer, he loves to visit the Westerner Days festival because he likes seeing the parade, going on the rides and eating cotton candy. Waskasoo loves to be active and be outdoors. Each summer, Waskasoo will travel Red Deer’s 110 km trail system.
Winter is Waskasoo’s favourite time of year! The cold does not scare him, and Waskasoo can be found skiing at Canyon Ski Resort, building snow forts or going sledding at Michener Hill. His favourite sports are hockey and skiing (both cross country or alpine!)
For food, Waskasoo loves to eat natural. His favourite foods are broccoli and watermelon. Waskasoo will also snack on nuts like almonds and cashews. He has a bit of a sweet tooth and will visit the Little Ice Cream Shop on Ross St.
What makes Waskasoo stand out is his personality. He is super enthusiastic! Waskasoo is always ready to cheer, dance and get others excited. You will see Waskasoo leading people in activities wherever he goes.
He is also encouraging. Waskasoo believes in you, and he will be there to celebrate with you when you cross the finish line, win or lose.
Waskasoo is curious. He loves to meet new people and hear more about them. He can’t wait to meet people from around central Alberta and hear their stories!
Waskasoo wants to be a sports broadcaster when he grows up. Broadcasting combines his enthusiasm and curiosity with his love for sports, and he has been inspired by watching TV personality Ron MacLean growing up. Waskasoo looks up to MacLean for his on-air skill and sense of humour. Brett Kissel and Deidra Dionne are two more inspirations for Waskasoo. Kissel is a chart-topping country artist from Flat Lake, Alberta, and Waskasoo admires his confidence and outgoing personality.
Dionne is an Olympian freestyle skier who won bronze in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. A neck injury sustained in 2005 nearly paralyzed Dionne, but through hard work and determination, Dionne recovered and qualified for the 2006 Olympics in Torino. Waskasoo aims to have the same kind of resilience that Dionne does. Waskasoo can’t wait for the 2019 Canada Winter Games to begin.
He will be visiting communities around Alberta to share his excitement with people and share the news about the Games! If you see Waskasoo, give him a wave and he will be happy to say hello. During Games time, Waskasoo will be traveling to the different venues to cheer on the athletes.
Riverside Dental Centre is the presenting sponsor of the 2019 Games mascot program.