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Features Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 18:55 GMT
Olympians grin and bear it
Team GB's Paddington Bear mascot
First stop Paddington:The mascot wraps up
By BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson in Salt Lake City

Meet the latest addition to Team GB's Winter Olympic squad!

The bear has been given special dispensation to join the British team in both Calgary and Salt Lake City.

And he has become a local celebrity with team members, joining them on trips to various venues and events.

The mascot, nicknamed Paddington, has been to the top of the Calgary ski jump to watch British hope Glynn Pedersen in action.

He has also been to an ice hockey game, on the bobsleigh, the luge and to Calgary Zoo with the women's bobsleigh squad.

'Paddington'  visits the ski jump
Downhill from here for the bear

But his crowning glory will be when he joins the athletes as they parade at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony at the Rice-Eccles Stadium on Friday.

He is being looked after by women's bobsleigh coach John Edwards.

It is his son Daniel's school mascot at Ladymede School in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Edwards said: "I brought Paddington to use as an educational tool for my son's school but he seems to have become a bit of a mascot for the whole squad.

"I have been taking pictures of Paddington at various Olympic venues and I have been e-mailing them to the school.

"It is a way of getting them interested in the Winter Olympics and apparently they are loving hearing about his adventures.

"Because he has been with us, the women's bobsleigh team have become very attached to him and he has become a bit of a good luck charm.

"He has even been given his own accreditation and is set to walk with us at the opening ceremony."

BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson

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