Lenzi has been named the mascot for upcoming biathlon events in Lenzerheide ©Swiss Ski

A wood grouse called Lenzi has been named the mascot for Switzerland's upcoming major biathlon events over the next three winter seasons.

The first of these is the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Open European Biathlon Championships from January 25 to 29 2023, to take place in the Roland Arena in Lantsch/Lenz.

Later in the year Lenzerheide is to hold a leg of the Biathlon World Cup in December, and the following season, the Biathlon World Championships in January 2025.

The animal chosen came from environmental discussions over a pair of grouse in the area who reside at the Roland Arena, where there were plans to expand the roller ski track.

One of the cartoons featuring Lenzi ©Thomas Zipfel
One of the cartoons featuring Lenzi ©Thomas Zipfel

Organisers say Lenzi represents "nature and sustainability, fights for respect and diversity".

Cartoons have been made of Lenzi in regional newspapers and on the biathlon communications channels.

There are to be trading cards, buttons and pins in Lenzerheide of the mascot.

Lenzi, who was designed by the German artist and draftsman Thomas Zipfel, will first appear at the IBU Open European Biathlon Championships.