By Curtis J Phillips
Say hello to Mistiko, official mascot of the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games.
But don’t expect the furry wood buffalo to say hello back in that we all know that mascots don’t talk.
Interviewing mascots is one of the toughest assignments for a writer. Aside from the communication barrier majority of sports mascots have the true nature of a hyper Chihuahua or Jack Russell.
They see a youngster and off they go to do some silly antics.
We had a chance to sit down one-on-one with Mistiko and through an interpreter from the Mascot Hall of Fame located in Newark, Delaware…look it up….we asked Mistiko a few questions.
CONNECT: Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule Mistiko. First off, what is it like to be a rookie mascot having made your debut only a week ago in front of city hall during the unveiling of the official 2015 Western Canada Summer Games countdown clock?
MISTIKO: What was the question again? I’m just kidding. It was a great day. Kim Rizzi, the Games Manager, made sure I looked fantastic as she lent me some shampoo to make my hair look extra special. Have you ever seen how great Kim’s hair looks? But I am not really a rookie mascot. I have been training for years thanks to my dad Buddy.
CONNECT: Do you mean Buddy the official mascot of the 2004 Arctic Winter Games which were hosted here in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo?
MISTIKO: Yep. That’s my pops.
CONNECT: How is the old hoofer?
MISTIKO: He is doing great. Retired and grazing out in the pasture. He keeps in shape by sneaking into MacDonald Island or the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre late at night when they are closed. He has a personal trainer…King the Husky who is the official mascot of the Keyano Huskies. Pops also snowbirds to Arizona along with a few other retired local mascots including Murray Da Moose and Mac and Marie from the 1992 Alberta Winter Games.
CONNECT: You look pretty fit yourself Mistiko. What is your favourite exercise and any special diet?
MISTIKO: Yogi. Or is that Yoda? No. No. Yoga, that’s it. You stretch for five minutes and then sleep for 45-minutes. Love it, except for the Lulu tights. Special diet? Not really…I eat a lot of Buffalo Wings though.
CONNECT: Of all of the sports that are going to be held at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games what is your favourite?
CONNECT: Are you a good golfer?
MISTIKO: Who said anything about playing? Have you ever tasted that grass? It’s a smorgasbord for 18 holes! Oh yeah. All of my species also likes fencing.
MISTIKO: You never heard of our team? The Buffalo Sabres.
CONNECT: Aside from your father Buddy, are there any other famous family members?
MISTIKO: Going way back to prehistoric times we have Wally who founded the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo Lodge No. 26 which Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were illustrious members of. Great great Grandpa Bert is also pictured on the back of the American nickel.
CONNECT: I also understand that you just graduated from the University of Manitoba. It must have been pretty hard to leave home for those four years. What did your dad say to you when you left?
And with that final quip, Mistiko rambled off in search of some fans to entertain.
Catch you on the rebound.