CALGARY -- Jan Hudec's helmet will reflect his nickname when he plummets down the mountain face in the upcoming World Cup downhill races in Lake Louise.
Dylan Kwan, 10, came up with the design featuring a panda bear's face for artist Miss Anna Hall to paint on Hudec's helmet, which the skier saw for the first time Wednesday in Calgary.
It will be auctioned off after the races to raise money for pediatric liver research in Alberta. Kwan has a condition called biliary atresia, which is bile duct inflammation that can lead to scarring of the liver.
"Dylan did some research and knew my nickname was the 'Panda,"' Hudec said. "Dylan was the creative director and they went on-line and found a bunch of pictures he really liked, what he thought represented fighting Panda -- a panda you think would win something.
"This makes Lake Louise a special event this year."
The 34-year-old Calgarian was the first Canadian man to win an Olympic alpine medal in 20 years when he took super-G bronze in 2014.
Hudec underwent the eighth knee surgery of his career in January, but says he's ready for the season-opening World Cup downhill and super-G races Nov. 28-29 in Lake Louise, Alta.
"I got to spend a lot of time in the gym this year. I feel really strong," Hudec said. "My knees are sore every now and again, but I feel really good and confident going into the season."
Hudec earned silver in men's downhill at the 2007 world alpine ski championships. He won the downhill in Lake Louise that same year and has finished on the World Cup podium four other times in his career.
Designing and auctioning off helmets for causes is the brainchild of Hudec's former Canadian teammate Brad Spence, a two-time Olympian who started the Helmets For Heroes program after retiring last year.
Spence raced in the 2014 Winter Games wearing a helmet designed by Gillian O'Blenes-Kaufman. Spence met the teenager when she was hospitalized with osteosarcoma, which is bone cancer.
O'Blenes-Kaufman died last year at the age of 18, just when Spence was starting the Helmets For Heroes foundation.
Canadian luger Sam Edney wore a helmet designed by 19-year-old Richard Flamenco in Calgary's World Cup races last December. Flamenco has a rare skin disease and the helmet was auctioned off to raise money for Alberta Children's Hospital.
But before Edney handed it over to the highest bidder, he won the first World Cup gold medal of his career.
"He set the bar high," Hudec said.
Hudec earned the nickname Panda because he wore a black and white helmet that was too big for him earlier in his career, and also a coach thought Hudec was a lot like the character Po in the animated movie "Kung Fu Panda."
Kwan will be in Lake Louise hoping his ferocious panda design is a good-luck charm for Hudec.
"I think it's really cool, a fierce panda makes a lot of sense," Kwan said.