Youhuu, a native Hungarian Racka sheep, has been selected as the mascot for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and was unveiled to the public at a press event to celebrate 100 days to go to the World Championships.
Jon Ridgeon, CEO of World Athletics, rang a bell to reveal the much-anticipated mascot in Budapest’s newly-completed National Athletics Centre.
More than 1100 years ago, the Racka sheep arrived in Hungary with the settling Hungarians and has remained a faithful companion ever since. Sheep can be found all over the world, but the distinctive racka breed is only found where Hungarians live.
In particular, there were once many racka sheep in the area where the National Athletics Centre now stands and where, in exactly 100 days’ time, the starting pistol will be fired for the biggest sporting event in Hungary’s history.
Youhuu is an everyday hero who is inspired by the World Athletics Championships to take up sport and loves athletics. As the chief cheerleader, he will be an essential part of the event before and during the World Championships, sometimes sweet, sometimes cheeky, but always fun.
Ridgeon also presented the organisers with the official certification of the National Athletics Centre, formally declaring that it is ready to host the World Championships.
“We have just completed what we call our ‘readiness site visit’,” he said. “This is a big milestone as it means we are now running down the home straight. We are delighted with the progress. The Organising Committee is a skilled and experienced team, and they have created strong partnerships with key delivery stakeholders across Budapest and Hungary, including transport, security, tourism, hotels and many, many more.
“There are still thousands of little decisions and connections to be made, but I am confident that the team and their partners and stakeholders will deliver an exceptional event in 100 days’ time here in this beautiful city of Budapest. Whilst the competition starts in 100 days, around 2000 athletes from 200 countries, 1500 broadcasters, and 2500 volunteers will be arriving in Budapest up to one month before the Opening Ceremony. We know they will all receive a warm Hungarian welcome from our hosts.”
“100 days before the start of the World Championships, the Local Organising Committee has reached the home straight, meaning that all the plans are in place to show that Hungary is capable of hosting…
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