Reading Between The Stripes: The Mystery Behind the Olympics TIger

Echo writers Jonathan Tenenbaum and Seren Park collaborate to crack the code behind the age-old mystery of the identity of the student behind the tiger mask.

Reading Between The Stripes: The Mystery Behind the Olympics TIger

Jonathan Tenenbaum and Seren Park

The holy torch lowers from the heavens. Olympics day. Four colors pack the stands. The bleachers rumble. Flags wave. Students scream. Then, everything turns silent. It’s time for the tiger to enter. An uncontrollable excitement fills the gym, adrenaline courses through veins, and chants and hollers begin. The crowd echoes something primitive, something innate, something….human. The tiger mascot comes out, each furry step building more anticipation. Hearts beat. Eyes open. The crackling of the artificial flame fills the moments of unspoken silence. With a few paw motions to the crowd, the masses erupt in cheer. The torch dips into the dish, and, like that, the deed is done. The torch is lit and the tiger immortalized.

A grand symbol of Tenafly spirit, the tiger mascot of the school is a part of Olympics shrouded in mystery. It must be the worthiest person in the school to don the mask, but the individual behind the tiger head is kept confidential. With such a storied, legendary role, a mystery lies unsolved as to what it’s like behind the mask and how tigers are recruited. With a web of connections and associates, we Echo writers set out to crack the code that has puzzled students for decades.

The mystery of the mascot’s identity has captivated the attention of the student body. “I feel….intrigued,” said Tomer Witelson (’21). “The Olympic mascot has piqued my interest behind its veil of anonymity. I wish I knew a bit more about this secretive feline. You know, I even wish I would know how one becomes the tiger. Is it a student? There’s a rumor going around that it’s a real tiger. Is that true? I don’t know. Nobody knows. It’s possibly the greatest Olympics mystery throughout history.” 

The 2019 Olympics Tiger

“It’s just so odd that a school like this with such an intelligent student body has been unable to figure it out,” said Jonathon Glatzer (‘21). “It’s amazing how this mystery has remained at Tenafly High School for such a great length of time. One year, I believe we can all figure it out, who the tiger is, I mean. I hope it is in my lifetime.” 

Through a complex network of informants and negotiations, the Tenafly Echo got an exclusive interview with this year’s tiger mascot. When asked how he came to take on the role of the Tenafly tiger, he answered, “It is my very first time as the tiger mascot. A close teacher of mine asked me if I wanted to fulfill the honor of being the Tenafly tiger mascot, and I couldn’t resist. [To become a tiger mascot] you need to be very smart, have amazing skills in ballet, and have a beautiful face. I feel marvelous being the Tenafly tiger.”

As the symbol of Tenafly pride, he said that he “puts on a glorious costume and gallantly runs around, prancing about the gymnasium, motivating students to support the Tenafly Tigers.”

He expressed the sanctity of the honorable role as mascot, declaring that “the tiger mascot is like the god of Tenafly High School; everyone worships it. [The god] is not Mr. Morrison. It’s the tiger. The tiger brings everyone together to have a good time and makes them feel loved.”

Right before the interview with the tiger mascot concluded and he vanished into the passing crowd of students, he hinted at the possibility of an Olympics day mid-ceremony unveiling of his true identity. Until then, however, the secret identity is to remain a secret, stripes fading into a void of mystery. At the end of the day, we should just ask Darby More (hint-hint).