Don’t let Falcon’s $4,900 exterior and cool demeanour fool you. It’s got multiple personalities and it’s sweating bullets on the inside.
Langara’s mascot Falcon has made approximately 20 appearances since first landing at Langara in January, but “there’s no designated mascot-wearer,” said Jake McCallum, acting director of athletics.
Instead, various student athletes and staff in the athletics department wear the Falcon suit.
McCallum said one special feature of the fuzzy three-piece suit is the battery-operated fan in the helmet. “If you don’t have the fan, then you’re in there sweating and it’s awful. Thank goodness for that.”
He wouldn’t know firsthand how effective the fan is because McCallum is too tall for the suit, which is meant for someone five foot four inches to five foot 10 inches in height.
Rhea Silvestri, however, fits the bill. “Within 15 minutes of walking with those extra large feet I realized [it] was going to be a very warm experience,” said the fourth-year member of the women’s basketball team.
Despite the heat, Silvestri said she never turns down an opportunity to be the Falcon. “It’s extremely hot inside that Falcon but it’s worth every second. It’s incredibly fun to [represent] my school in a way that brings a smile to everyone’s face.”
Silvestri, an arts and science student, has earned the nickname “the Falcon” within her circle of friends. “I volunteered to be the Falcon once to try it out. Then it became my alter ego,” she said.
Silvestri may moonlight as the Falcon, but she wasn’t the original mascot. That title belongs to Jade Arignon, a business student and part-time staffer in the athletics department.
Not one to turn down the perks that come with the territory, Arignon still wears it on occasion. “You get lots of hugs and high fives. No one knows that it’s you, so you can act a little silly and get away with it.”
Reported by Tricia Lo