When the world returns to the Vail Valley for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, athletes, media, spectators and families will be welcomed by two of Vail and Beaver Creek’s newest ambassadors of fun, Pete and Earl. (Vail Valley Foundation)
VAIL, CO (Feb. 2) — When the world returns to the Vail Valley for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, athletes, media, spectators and families will be welcomed by two of Vail and Beaver Creek’s newest ambassadors of fun, Pete and Earl.
Pete the Mountain Lion and Earl the Raccoon will serve as the official mascots for the 2015 World Championships, making special appearances throughout the coming year, as well as during the two weeks of the Championships. The two outgoing, gregarious characters were formally introduced February 1, in conjunction with the One Year Countdown festivities at Championships Plaza in Vail Village.
The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are scheduled from February 2-15. The event is expected to showcase athletes from over 70 nations, including World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), who earned her career first giant slalom podium at the venue in December 2013, as well as World Cup champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), who finished first and second in a riveting conclusion to the Audi Birds of Prey Race Week in 2013. An international television audience approaching 750 million people will watch the two weeks of racing and festivities.
“We are thrilled to welcome Pete and Earl to the 2015 World Championships family,” explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “They will share their love of the mountains, bring to life the fun and excitement of the races and share our community’s sense of hospitality with everyone that comes to Vail and Beaver Creek for the 2015 World Championships.”
In addition to welcoming everyone to the Championships, Pete and Earl will also pay tribute to the two hard working dreamers, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, whose vision of the perfect ski mountain led to the creation of Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts.
“By selecting to name the mascots Pete and Earl,” Folz explained, “we chose to honor the real Pete and Earl for their ingenuity, their dedication, their perseverance and their incredible dedication to a dream. That dream is just as alive today as it was in that first season, continued every day by everyone who has chosen to live and work here and calls the Vail Valley our home. In essence, Pete and Earl represent all of us.”
As the story goes, in March of 1957, Eaton took his friend Seibert on a long hike through deep snow to the top of a quiet mountain. When they reached the top, their view was filled with an endless panorama of beautiful ski terrain and a vast landscape of open bowls, filled with powdery snow.
According to the reports, Pete exclaimed, “My God Earl, we’ve climbed all the way to heaven”. And thus, an incredible partnership and the dream of Vail was born.
Pete and Earl will join Sport Goofy, of Disney fame, who served as the official mascot for Vail and Beaver Creek’s 1989 World Championships, as well as Dusty, the golden eagle, who flew down to serve as the mascot of the 1999 World Championships.