Let’s be real – one of the most exciting parts of the Olympics is admiring the cute and creative mascots that are designed every two years. There has been a wide range of unique and creative mascots since the trend started at the 1968 Grenoble Games. We’re here to look back on some of our favourite official Olympic mascots over the years!
1. Waldi (Munich 1972)
Following the unofficial creation of a mascot in the 1968 Games, Waldi was the very first official Olympic mascot in 1972. Dachshunds are already pretty cool looking dogs, and the colour scheme on his body makes him even more interesting to look at. Also, it is rumoured that the shape of Waldi’s body resembled the route of the Olympic marathon in 1972!
2. Syd, Olly, and Millie (Sydney 2000)
Fastforward to the turn of the century, and we have the first ever trio of mascots! Their names are all abbreviations of things relevant to the Games that year. Syd was short for Sydney, Ollie was short for Olympic, and Millie was short for millennium. We love this choice of mascots because it highlights a platypus, kookaburra and echidna, some of the lesser known Australian wildlife. They also represent the air, water and earth, in the order of their picture below. These 3 look like the best of friends, and also super proud to represent Australia!
3. Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini (Beijing 2008)
These five “good-luck dolls” are probably the mascots with the most detail and thought put into their designs and the meaning behind them. First of all, the first half of their names form a sentence! “Bei Jing Huan Ying Nin” translates to “Welcome to Beijing”. Each mascot represents one colour of the Olympic Rings, and apart from Huanhuan, a popular animal in China. Our favourite fact about these mascots is that each one holds a wish for the future. Their wishes are for prosperity, happiness, good health, good luck, and passion for sport. These wishes bring a deeper meaning behind the cute faces of these mascots.
4. Quatchi and Miga (Vancouver 2010)
Next up we have this adorable pair of mascots from Canada! Both are based off mythical creatures from tales of the First Nations in British Columbia. Quatchi is a Sasquatch, and Miga is a sea bear, which is part killer whale and part Kermode bear. They also have a friend called Mukmuk, a marmot who was very popular with the public, but not an official mascot. We think these two perfectly portray the friendly and welcoming spirit of both Canada and the Olympic Games. Plus, who knew a Sasquatch wearing earmuffs could be so cute?
5. Wenlock (London 2012)
Wenlock is one of the most modern and most abstract mascots of the bunch. He is said to be a drop of steel (from building the Olympic Stadium in London) with a cab light atop his head and a camera for an eye. His bracelets are the five Olympic Rings. He is a little mysterious, because we don’t know much about him other than the fact that he films everything he sees with his camera eye. Nevertheless, he seems like a pretty friendly guy who could definitely show you around London!
Of course, we can’t finish this list without giving a special mention to this year’s mascot for the Rio 2016 Olympics, Vinicius! Named after Brazilian musician Vinicius de Moraes, the mascot is a mixture of multiple Brazilian animals and represents diversity and exuberance of the country.
We hoped you enjoyed that trip down memory lane as we remembered some of the best Olympic mascots over the years. You can learn more about each of the mascots mentioned and all of the other ones on the Olympic website.
Who is your favourite Olympic mascot? Were they on this list? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.