Since the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France the Olympic Games have had a mascot. The first major mascot in the Olympic Games was Misha in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. We take a look at the mascots of the Summer Olympic Games.
Wenlock and Mandeville are the official mascots for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics being held in London. Wenlock and Mandeville are animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton. They are named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, a facility in Buckinghamshire that initially organised the Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor of the Paralympic Games.
The Fuwa – Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini – were the mascots of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Together, the names form the sentence “Beijing huanying ni,” which means “Beijing welcomes you”. Originally named ‘The Friendlies’, they were promoted as ‘Fuwa’ when there were concerns the name could be misinterpreted.
“Athena” and “Phevos” were the Olympic mascots of the 2004 Athens Olympics. According to the official mascot webpage, “their creation was inspired by an ancient Greek doll and their names are linked to ancient Greece, yet the two siblings are children of modern times – Phevos and Athena represent the link between Greek history and the modern Olympic Games.”
Olly (from “Olympic” and a Kookaburra), Syd (from “Sydney” and a Platypus) and Millie (from “Millennium” and a Echidna); were the mascots of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. While Olly represented the Olympic spirit of generosity; Syd represented the environment and energy of the people of Australia; Millie represented the Millennium. All three mascots are common wild animals found in Australia.
Izzy was the official mascot of the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics. The animated character with the ability to morph into different forms was a departure from the Olympic tradition in that it did not represent a nationally-significant animal or human figure.
Cobi was the official mascot of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. He is a Catalan Sheepdog in Cubist style inspired by the interpretations of Picasso of a masterpiece from Velazquez, Las Meninas. His name was derived from the Barcelona Olympic Organising Committee (COOB).
Hodori was the official mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He was designed as an amicable Amur Tiger, portraying the friendly and hospitable traditions of the Korean people, and the name Hodori was chosen from 2,295 suggestions sent in by the public. There was also a female tiger named “Hosuni”, but she was seldom used.
Sam the Olympic Eagle is the mascot of the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics. He is a bald eagle, which is the national bird of the United States, where the games were held. Sam also shares the name of Uncle Sam, another American symbol.
Misha, also known as Mishka or The Olympic Mishka is the name of the Russian Bear, the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Misha is the first mascot of a sporting event to achieve large-scale commercial success as merchandise.
Amik, a beaver, was the mascot of the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics. The beaver was chosen as mascot, because it represents hard work and it is also an animal native to Canada, the country where the games were held. [IMAGE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY].
Waldi was the first official Olympic mascot. reated for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, he was a dachshund, and modelled on a real dog, a long-haired Dachshund named Cherie von Birkenhof. Waldi was designed to represent the attributes described required for athletes — resistance, tenacity and agility. [IMAGE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY].
El Jaguar Rojo de Chichen-Itza and Paloma de la Paz were the mascots of the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City. While El Jaguar was based on a throne in the shape of a red jaguar in the “El Castillo” pyramid at Chichen Itza; Paloma de la Paz was a stylized white dove and represented the slogan of the games, “Los juegos de la Paz”, (“Games of the Peace”). [IMAGE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY].