The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

86° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wilma revealed: The woman behind the Wilma

    Cascade Mittman, a pre-business junior, has motivated and encouraged thousands of UA fans as Wilma Wildcat. Mittman was revealed as Wilma at the March 2 UCLA game.
    Cascade Mittman, a pre-business junior, has motivated and encouraged thousands of UA fans as Wilma Wildcat. Mittman was revealed as Wilma at the March 2 UCLA game.

    The Arizona Daily Wildcat interviewed pre-business junior Cascade Mittman, this year’s Wilma, who was revealed at the men’s basketball game against UCLA on March 2. Mittman became Wilma in July 2007. She tells the Daily Wildcat what it was like to be a high profile mascot and at the same time maintain a social life.

    Wildcat: What have you done at the UA?

    Mittman: I was a cheerleader my freshman year.

    W: What made you want to become Wilma?

    M: I just wanted to try something different. The mascot program is part of the cheer program, so I already knew the coach well. When I was a cheerleader I got to see the mascots a lot and it looked really fun.

    W: How hard was it to keep your identity a secret?

    M: It was really hard because I just get so excited about stuff and I want to tell people. Plus cheer did not understand why I was not a cheerleader anymore and would not come to any of the games.

    W: Did anyone know?

    M: My roommate knew, of course. And a couple of other people.

    W: Did anyone catch you in half costume?

    M: One time I was doing an appearance and I was changing and a little boy walked in but I don’t think he understood.

    W: What was the tryout process like?

    M: I had to do a personal interview with the coach and cheer adviser and I did a softball game.

    W: What have you learned from being Wilma?

    M: I really learned how important it is to sit and listen to people. A lot of people just need someone to open up to. One time an old man told me the story about his mom’s fight with breast cancer.

    W: Are you glad you did it? Why?

    M: I’m really glad because I met so many people. It is such a cool experience, truly once in a lifetime.

    W: What’s it like wearing that big costume?

    M: It’s really, really hot. I never knew I could sweat so much but you get used to it. The coach would make me work out in sweats so I would get used to being hot.

    W: Who was the most interesting person you met as Wilma and why?

    M: (UA) President (Robert) Shelton. He’s awesome. He’s such a busy guy but he would always take a second and say ‘Hi’ every time he saw me. He really cares about the student body.

    W: What is your most memorable experience being Wilma?

    M: The basketball game with the water bottle. I was standing by the USC players and after the water bottle was thrown the coach got over the intercom and said ‘Who did that?’ I’ve never felt that kind of feeling in McKale before. It was like when your sibling is getting yelled at and you are stuck in the middle of it. It’s awkward because you do not know what to do.

    W: What was the workload like being Wilma?

    M: I had to work out on Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 a.m. with the cheerleaders. I did every home football game and one away game at Cal. I had to do all women’s basketball games, six men’s games. I think I did volleyball too. It is a lot of work. Games, gym meets and appearances.

    W: What are appearances exactly?

    M: Say your kid is having a birthday party and they wanted Wilma to be there. People can pay to have Wilbur and Wilma at their events. We have even done a wedding and a Bar Mitzvah.

    W: Did you still have time to go to class and have a social life?

    M: Yes, but it definitely taught me how to manage my time.

    W: Which game do you most remember as Wilma?

    M: Definitely the Oregon football game. When the crowd is excited it is especially fun to be Wilma. You can feel the intensity.

    W: Which sport was your favorite to play Wilma in?

    M: Women’s basketball.

    W: Why?

    M: There are fewer people so I felt like I could have a more personal connection with everyone in the stands.

    W: Did you get to know the players and Wilbur very well?

    M: I definitely knew Wilbur very well. As for the players, they are pretty focused in the game and we don’t want to distract them from bringing the Wildcats to victory.

    W: So I have to ask, Wilbur and Wilma? Was there anything there?

    M: Wilma would never kiss and tell!

    W: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to try out to be Wilma?

    M: You have to learn how to become Wilma and act like she acts. Do not be nervous.

    W: What one word would you use to describe Wilma?

    M: Sassy.

    W: Wilbur?

    M: Badass. Wait. Can I say that?

    W: Speaking of sassy, I heard you got teased by the band members for being a little too flirtatious?

    M: Yeah! One time this girl in the band told me to stop flirting with her boyfriend. That is how I interpreted Wilma’s character. Flirty and cute.

    W: Were you told how to perform as Wilma or did you just go with the flow?

    M: Yes. Old Wilmas came in and coached us. But it was easy for me because I spent so much time with the mascots when I was a cheerleader.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search