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This is a Gee-Gee

Maclaine Chadwick | Sports Editor

THERE IS ONE thing I can almost guarantee will happen to you during your time here at the University of Ottawa. Whether you’re at a sports game, out at the bar, or just walking down the street rocking some campus swag, an obnoxious student from another university will inevitably shout at you: “What the fuck’s a Gee-Gee?”

In a nutshell, the answer is this: A gee-gee is a horse. In derby racing the gee-gee is the first horse out of the gate—quick and determined to win.

When universities began playing sports competitively, referees would refer to respective schools based on their jersey colour. The U of O, wearing garnet and grey, were referred to as the GG’s. Bonus points for bilingualism here, since en français our school colours are “gris et grenat.” Later on the nickname merged with the mascot of the horse, and our beloved Gee-Gee was born!

The most fun varsity games are the ones played against rival schools—the top three being Carleton University, the University of Western Ontario, and Queens. At these games you will hear “What the fuck’s a Gee Gee?” chanted over and over again by the opposing fans, perhaps as a taunting tactic—because no matter how many times we tell them it’s a horse, they always seem to forget—(wink)—and ask again. For us students at the U of O, though, knowing what a Gee-Gee is should be considered prerequisite knowledge.

It genuinely baffles me when I meet students in second, third, and even fourth year who have no idea what our school’s mascot is. I’ll never forget a time in a third-year course when the professor used the term Gee-Gees to describe the student population and then paused to ask, “Wait, what is a Gee-Gee anyway? Does anyone even know?” I couldn’t believe the blank faces and shaking heads. My hand shot into the air as my neighbouring classmate cowered in embarrassment over my eagerness, but I disregarded him and proceeded to tell the whole class what I just told you.

Sure, it’s a weird name for a mascot. Some may call it oddly specific, others may just think it’s stupid. I say it’s an awesome double entendre that carries history and strong symbolism. And it’s way more bad-ass than a Raven.