In the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the hoary marmot was the lead contender for mascot. After all, hoary marmots - or whistle pigs - is how the Games' co-host city, Whistler, got its name.
At least one concerned citizen suggested to the media and Games officials that if the hoary marmot were to be selected, there might be some unfortunate consequences...like British tabloid journalists or the Intraweb replacing, ahem, the hoary 'a' with an 'n'. And no one - no one - wanted to see this noble rodent mocked.
Thankfully, that same concerned citizen offered up a ready solution to the problem: just name the rare white Kermode bear - known commonly as the ghost or spirit bear - as the mascot...and help save the Official Mammal of BC in the process. Games officials are said to have 'rejoiced' at the face-saving idea and so the ghost bear came to be one of the Games' three mascots.
We can't confirm the identity of the 'concerned citizen', nor will we comment on rumours that he is one of our organization's co-founders.