December 6 - Komak the moose has been unveiled as Canada's official mascot for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Making his first public appearance at St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School and Gore Park in Hamilton, Ontario, Komak was joined by two-time Olympic ice hockey gold medallist Cheryl Pounder; Salt Lake City gold medallist in ice hockey, Sami Jo Small; and Jason Burnett, who won silver on the trampoline at Beijing 2008.
Sporting his nation's traditional red and white kit, Komak, alongside Pounder, Small and Burnett, met with hundreds of school children to share the Canadian Olympic School Programme (COSP) - an initiative designed to provide educators with values-based resources that celebrate the Olympic Movement in Canada and across the world, hoping to spark excitement for the Olympics in the classroom and throughout the school.
"As Olympians, we often have the privilege of meeting children and fans from many parts of the country, but today was unlike any other day for me," said Burnett.
"The joy and excitement displayed by the kids at St. Lawrence was truly incredible to see.
"They reminded me of just how powerful the Olympic Movement can be."
Michael Goffredo, Principal at St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School added: "Seeing the reaction on the faces of our students this afternoon was absolutely wonderful.
"To have our school chosen as the first place in Canada to see and meet one of Canada's enduring symbols at the upcoming Olympic Games is a true honour.
"I know our students will remember this moment for a long time."
Komak, whose antlers are designed to mirror the map of Canada, was also part of the city's "Tree of Hope" Lighting Ceremony, alongside Mayor Bob Bratina.
"Today was an absolute treat for our community," said Bratina.
"I am so happy and proud that Hamilton was included, in such a unique way, in the buzz being created in the lead up to the Sochi Games."
Steve Podborski, Chef de Mission for Canada's Olympic team in Sochi, described Komak as a "true representation of the Canadian Olympic spirit and the values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect."
He added: "His eagerness and youthful personality will be fantastic assets to the Canadian contingent heading to Russia next February.
"I know adults and children alike will welcome him with open arms."
Komak will act as Canada's brand promoter, an ambassador to the Canadian Olympic School Programme and a Games and events attendee throughout the Sochi Winter Olympics with plans to release Komak-themed merchandise in the near future.
He becomes Canada's first official team mascot since Moomik the moose was decommissioned after the 1996 Atlanta Games and joins Pachi the Porcupine who was unveiled as the mascot for the Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.
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July 2013: Pachi the Porcupine unveiled as Toronto 2015 mascot