Top 10 Best Olympic Mascots Of All Time
August 11, 2021 By Sourav
Mascots have their role in every Olympic game to represents the motto and The goal of the games. The Olympic fans had already seen many mascots of various Olympic Games and Paralympic games with their different shapes and colors.
The concept of including a mascot in the Olympic games was started with the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble where the unofficial mascot Schuss was a Stylized skier designed by Mme. Lafargue had huge popularity before and throughout the Olympic games. It is still considered one of the best Olympic mascots.
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The first official mascots of the Olympic Games were El Jaguar Rojo de Chichen-Itza and Paloma de la Paz for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The first official mascots were actually a red Jaguar and dove designed by Eduardo Terrazas and Lance Wyman which represented the motto “Los Juegos de la Paz” i.e. “Games of the Peace”.
The mascot and its significance always carried true importance to every Olympic Games starting from 1968, and here is the list of 10 Best Olympic Mascots.
10. Sam The Olympic Eagle
The official mascot of the 1984 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Los Angeles, United States was Sam the Olympic Eagle. Sab is actually a bald eagle which is the national bird of the United States of America.
The name of the mascot Sam denotes the kinship with another American symbol Uncle Sam. Sam was designed by legendary Disney animation artist Bob Moore.
The mascot of the 1984 Summer Olympics shares the name of Sam the Eagle from a character of The Muppet Show. But, the designs are different in a term.
After the end of the 1984 Summer Olympics, Sam the eagle was also used to promote the Mt. SAC Relays a track and field event at Mt. San Antonio College.
The official mascot of the 1992 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Barcelona, Spain was Cobi. Cobi was inspired by Las Menina’s interpretations of Picasso of a masterpiece from Velázquez, Las Meninas.
Cobi was actually a Catalan Sheepdog in a Cubist style. And, it was designed by Javier Mariscal.
The name of the mascot Cobi was derived from the Barcelona Olympic Organizing Committee or COOB. The mascot was officially unveiled in public in 1987.
Cobi made his cameo appearance in a variety of advertisements for Olympic sponsors like Brother Industries, Coca-Cola, and Danone before and during the 1992 summer Olympics. Cobi also had its own TV series called The Cobi Troupe.
The cute little Izzy became the official mascot of the 1996 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Atlanta, United States. Izzy was the animated character with the ability to morph into different forms and was first named Whatzit which stands for “What is it?”
Interestingly, the mascot did not represent any nationally significant animal or human figure. Senior animation director of Atlanta-based design firm DESIGNefx, John Ryan, first designed Izzy.
The final design was chosen from a competition of twenty design firms racing to build a mascot for the summer Olympics.
A theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia called Busch Gardens Williamsburg also named a new Wild Mouse roller coaster after the mascot.
7. Sukki, Nokki, Lekki, And Tsukki
The official mascots of the 1998 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Nagano, Japan were Sukki, Nokki, Lekki, and Tsukki also known as the Snowlets.
Four mascots denote the gap of four years between each Olympiad. The four Snowlets represent the four major islands of Japan, and individually, Sukki represents the element fire, Nokki represents the element air, Lekki represents the element earth and Tsukki represents the element water.
Besides, they deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots. The name “Snowlets” comes from two words, snow which represents the winter Olympics and lets which invites the participants to join the game.
Landor Associates first designed these mascots. The authorities then chose the names from 47,484 suggestions.
6. Powder, Copper, And Coal
The official mascots of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Salt Lake City, United States were Powder, Copper, and Coal.
The designing of the mascots started in September 1997 and the International Olympic Committee gave approval to the mascots in December 1998. Besides, they deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots.
Steve Small is widely famous for his work in Rugrats and Hercules. He first illustrated the mascot. Landor Associates of San Francisco and Publicis worked with The Salt Lake Organizing Committee to develop and market the mascot.
The authorities unveiled all three mascots at the Triad Center in downtown Salt Lake City on 15th May 1999. Powder, a Snowshoe Hare, Copper, a Coyote, and Coal, an American black bear, actually represent Native American legends.
5. Neve And Gliz
The official mascots of the 2006 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Turin, Italy were Neve and Gliz. The Organizing Committee TOROC received 237 proposals at a mascot design contest on May 20, 2003.
The authorities first chose five as the finalists. And then, Pedro Albuquerque’s creation of ‘Neve and Gliz’ became the final mascot. Without any doubt, they deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots.
Neve, which stands for “Snow” in Italian and represents “softness, friendship, and elegance, ” is a humanized female snowball with a red costume.
Gliz, which stands for “Ice” in Italian and represents “enthusiasm and joy,” is a humanized male ice cube with a blue costume. Mascot artist Pedro Albuquerque also designed a stylized snowflake "Aster" as the mascot for Paralympic Games.
The official mascot of the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, China, was Fuwa which literally means the “good-luck dolls”. Famous Chinese artist Han Meilin designed the mascot dolls.
And, they deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots of all time. The authorities declared ‘Fuwa’ as the official mascot on 11 November 2005. And, they unveiled them at an event by the National Society of Chinese Classic Literature Studies.
The five Fuwa, i.e. Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini got their names from the sentence “Beijing huanying ni”. That stands for “Beijing welcomes you”.
The Fuwa made a world tour visiting all seven continents as the ambassadors of peace. As an interesting fact, 72-year-old Chinese artist Han Meilin suffered two heart attacks while designing the Fuwa mascot for the Beijing Olympics.
3. Miga, Quatchi, Sumi, And Mukmuk
The official mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada were Miga, Quatchi, Sumi, and Mukmuk. Canadian- American agency Meomi Design created this mascot. The authorities then unveiled them on 27th November 2007.
It was the first time when the Olympic and Paralympic mascots were introduced on the same date. These mascots deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots.
The Olympic committee VANOC first shortlisted five after they received 177 designs from all over the world. They finally selected concepts from Meomi Design in December 2006. Part killer whale and part spirit bear Miga is a mythical sea bear.
Besides, the Sasquatch or bigfoot Quatchi has dreams of being a hockey goalie. Sumi, with the wings of the Thunderbird and legs of an American black bear, was an animal guardian spirit. Small and friendly sidekick Mukmuk is a Vancouver Island marmot.
2. The Leopard, Polar Bear, And Hare
The official mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, Russia were The Leopard, Polar Bear, and Hare. Russia organized a nationwide mascot design contest from 1st September to 5th September 2010.
Judges received more than 24,000 designs from the participants. Russia’s national TV channel One then broadcasted a shortlist of designs on 7th February 2011.
On that list, the authorities shortlisted 10 Olympic and 3 Paralympic designs. Russians voted for their favorite mascots. And shortly after, The Leopard, Polar Bear, and Hare became the final mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Besides, The Ray of Light and the Snowflake became the mascots of the Paralympics. These selections definitely deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots.
1. Wenlock and Mandeville
The official mascots of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London, United Kingdom, was Wenlock and Mandeville. The authorities unveiled the mascots of the 2012 London Summer Olympics on 19th May 2010.
That day, authorities unveiled both the Olympic and Paralympic mascots, the only second time in Olympic history. London-based creative agency Iris created Wenlock and Mandeville.
The Wenlock Olympian Society held its first Olympic Games in 1850 at Wenlock in Shropshire, England. The name ‘Wenlock’ mascot has got its name from that.
Besides, the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire hosted the first Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948. And from that, the mascot ‘Mandeville’ got its name. They both deserve their place among the best Olympic mascots of all time.
The mascot for the 2016 Summer Olympics was unveiled in November 2014. The Pyeongchang Olympic Committee declared its mascot selection contest on June 27, 2014, and the selection process took place from September 15 to September 30 of 2014.