The results are in! Call him Ollie the Eagle

Steve Jones

Here’s the word for the bird: The new Spalding mascot will be named Ollie.

Ollie was the winner of the online vote by students, alumni, faculty and staff to name the school’s first-ever Golden Eagle mascot.

Ollie pays homage to Ali, as in Muhammad Ali, the legendary heavyweight champion and humanitarian who first learned to box as a teenager in the building that’s now Spalding’s Columbia Gym.

“Ollie” earned 111 votes, or 33.2 percent, of the 334 votes cast during the weeklong balloting of five finalists, beating out Eli (84 votes, 25.2 percent), Naz (63, 18.9), Blue (42, 12.6) and Clay (34, 10.2).

The announcement of the winning name was made on Thursday, Feb. 22, during an appearance by the Golden Eagle on WHAS-11’s “Great Day Live.”

Spalding’s athletic nickname has been the Golden Eagles since 2006, but the university has not had an actual mascot to represent the school at games and community events. Spalding unveiled the mascot earlier this month and accepted suggestions from the public for its name via social media, email and a paper ballot box. Spalding received more than 200 nominations and narrowed it to the final five.

The mascot made the media rounds during February. He was introduced to the public on “Great Day Live” on Feb. 2. He was on WLKY-32’s “Sports Saturday” newscast the weekend of the Super Bowl, and the Eagles, appropriately, won that big game. He also was “interviewed” by the Courier Journal for an online video that included lots of bird puns.

Now it’s all come full circle for the Spalding mascot, and we have all precincts reporting. Welcome, Ollie!

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