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Introducing the new school mascot: Bolt

By Sophia Qin Nov. 3, 2021


Dressed in a custom-designed knight outfit in Columbia blue, yellow and navy blue, Bolt—the school’s new costumed mascot—was introduced to students and staff during the Week of Welcome. Designed by Activities Director Meg Walsh and the Associated Student Body (ASB), Bolt makes frequent appearances at lunch and after school during special school occasions such as football games, rallies and spirit events.


Walsh explains that she proposed the idea to create a costumed mascot as it Suvia Li Art

is traditional for high schools to have mascots, and they are great for cultivating school spirit. In order to design Bolt, Walsh contacted a mascot company and personally chose and assembled various elements of the mascot, including Bolt’s facial features, the fabric of his clothing and the color scheme for his costume. As someone who worked with several mascots in college—including the San Jose Sharks’s iconic S.J. Sharkie and Oakland Athletics’s lovable Stomper—Walsh had extensive experience with mascots and a clear vision of what she wanted Bolt to look like.


Bolt perfectly embodies the fearless “Charge On” mentality

“It was important to me that our mascot is not just a horse, but the horse that the knight rides on, so I wanted to incorporate elements of the knight on Bolt’s costume. While designing the outfit, we browsed through images of medieval knight armor for inspiration. Overall, Bolt perfectly embodies the fearless “Charge On” mentality, which I had hoped for,” Walsh said.


When he attends school events, Bolt is supported by Bolt’s Brigade—a behind-the-scenes group of handlers focused on helping the mascot interact with students while staying safe. The group is currently composed of about ten members, but they are actively scouting people to grow their team. Junior Class President Alexander Lee—one of the members of the brigade—revealed that Bolt was designed and purchased prior to the lockdown. Walsh and ASB had originally planned to reveal it earlier, but were delayed by the pandemic.


“We had to keep Bolt undercover for a few years, but this school year was the perfect opportunity to finally bring Bolt out as it has been a long time since any of us have come to school in-person, and Bolt is perfect for helping strengthen school spirit,” Lee said.


Since his introduction, Bolt has appeared at numerous school events, including Battle of the Den games and the class Homecoming rallies. The mascot has gained popularity among many students who view Bolt as a personification of the spirit and strength expressed in the school’s fight song.


“Ever since my first encounter with Bolt, I could tell that the mascot truly represents the students and expresses Charger pride. I am a bit curious about who Bolt is,” Sophomore Judy Sohn said.


Lee and Walsh explained that Bolt’s identity is secretive as school and sports team mascot performers are traditionally unnamed and the focus is on the mascot, rather than the person inside the costume.


Although Bolt was just recently introduced, he is already beloved by many in the Charger community and will continue to uplift and support students and foster spirit and pride.


 

About the Contributor

Sophia Qin

Staff Writer


Sophia Qin is a freshman at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. During her free time, she loves dancing, baking, reading, hanging out with friends and family, and drawing.

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