Ollie The Penguin - The Official Mascot of the Calgary Olympic Oval
In 1989 the Oval's official mascot, Ollie the penguin, was introduced to the world. His unveiling took place twice: once on Sept. 15 during a lunchtime public skating session, along with the University of Calgary mascot Dexter the Dinosaur; and again on Oct. 29 at the Olympic Oval Halloween party.
The initial concept for Ollie came from 11th grade part-time Oval staff member Kristy (Elisha) Hawrys and he was developed into a mascot by Glen Street, owner of local Calgary props company Street Characters. His full name at his inception was Oil Can Ollie, but he was officially named Ollie.
The new mascot had a very involved background story, which served to make him a true character. It was said he came to the Olympic Oval after hearing about the 1988 Olympic Winter Games and he swam all the way from Antarctica to see it. Because the distance was so great, it took him a year to reach his destination. When he finally arrived, like so many others, Ollie knew this was home!
Ollie has undergone several make-overs through the years, but he still lives at the Oval year round. He makes appearances during public skating, special events and ventures out into the community on a regular basis sharing his love of skating and the Olympic Oval, his adopted home.
Jean-Phillippe (JP) Le Penguin - Social Media Mascot & Huge Speed Skating Fan
Jean-Philippe made his first appearance at the Olympic Oval in the Fall of 2014. An escapee from the Calgary Zoo Jean-Philippe arrived on the scene as a bird-of-mystery with little known about his past. Dubbed the #MysteryPenguin communication was soon established using an advanced system of writing, hand gestures and body language. It quickly became apparent that the #MysteryPenguin had a very long story to tell...
Jean-Philippe (or JP as he prefers) is a humboldt penguin hailing from Baie-comeau, QC. Looking to escape the dry deserts and rocky shores along the pacific coast of South America - JP's family arrived in Canada many years ago. JP is very proud to be Canadian-born and even prouder to have grown up in Quebec. Though he is a bird of few words - he is multilingual (French, English, Japanese & Penguin) and communicates mostly through a small whiteboard provided to him by Oval staff.
These days JP can be seen pretty much everywhere around the Oval... Competitions and race days are his favourite in which he will often don his custom made Olympic Oval skin suit. He is a very big fan of the sport of speed skating - his favorite skaters include: Ollie the Penguin (for obvious reasons), both the short track & long track Canadian national teams and of course his adopted home team the Oval Program. On rare occasions he has also been known to cheer on his hometown Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Be sure to track him online on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag: #JPPenguin