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The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Adopt a New Mascot

Aug 03, 2015 12:43PM ● By Bryan Scott

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard

By Aimee L. Cook

A rescue puppy that was surrendered to the Humane Society of Utah by his family was recently adopted by the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Free skiing and U.S. Snowboarding as the Olympic-bound teams’ official mascot. Champ, a five-month-old chocolate lab now has new digs and a great job. 

Champ will be traveling domestically with the teams. He will be attending big events such as World Cups, Grand Prixs, Snow Balls and media and fundraising events. Champ will be meeting fans and donors and hanging out with the teams. 

Champ was adopted and will be cared for by Courtney Harkins, the content manager for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and her partner Brandon. 

“My partner and I have been talking about a dog for years,” Harkins said. “When watching the Super Bowl this year, we saw that adorable Budweiser commercial with the yellow lab puppy and horses. That’s when the idea struck that a puppy would be a perfect compliment to the teams. We really wanted to build a stronger brand behind the teams, so the fans can really relate to the athletes and associate them with their respective teams. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that.”

Harkins put the word out that she was looking for a dog. She was put in touch with Heidi Myers, the Corporate Partnership Manager for the Humane Society who helped her find the perfect rescue dog. They met Champ right after he was dropped off and knew instantly he was the perfect fit for them. 

“This was an incredible experience and you could tell that Courtney and Brandon were not taking it lightly,” Myers said. “Champ will be an incredible ambassador for the winter sport industry and we couldn’t think of a better spokes pup to help promote the ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’ message. Champ will also help to dispel the myth that companion animals finding themselves in a shelter are bad, unwanted pets.”

Champ will be spending the summer running behind roller skiing cross country skiers, bouncing on trampolines with snowboarders and free skiers and biking behind the alpine athletes.