Have been watching a bit of the Olympics on the telly – discovered on
Saturday from Simon & Cath that pressing the red button on the
remote takes you down the rabbit hole… I mean, takes you to a
subchannel that is totally devoted the Olympics! There is a new luge
sport – skeleton luge, where instead of going feet first down the
track, one goes head first. Pretty scary.
The other day I passed by a UPS truck which had this on its side:
This is the official logo for the 2012 Olympics in London. I didn’t know it until I googled it, but the weird tetris-gone-wrong shape is in fact a representation of the numbers 2012. Not sure about the weird dot by the second 2, but there you go. I am astounded that this cost £400,000 to create. It boggles the mind. I have to say I am with the NY Times on this one. This is their take on the logo:
The Tetris-on-crack look aside – this is supposed to represent London – historically, culturally, socially, and inspire youth to join the Olympics. I can’t say I’m that inspired by it, though I also can’t say I’m much of a youth anymore! Actually I am embarrassed that a city with so much going for it should create such a crappy logo. But the Games will of course be so much more than the corporate logo (I hope). While I think the political machinations of the Olympic Committee are wholly outside the spirit of the games and they ought to be heartily ashamed of themselves, the opportunities the Games afford young athletes from various countries outweigh and to a certain degree, are outside what those crafty old silver backs get up to. The Taiwanese ski team, the Jamaican bobsled team for example. The ability for people from wholly different political systems to get together for a common goal. So totally unexpected and yet so incredibly awesome that those guys can get out there, train and compete in an international event.
Anyways, I am intrigued to see what kind of mascot London will have for the summer games. There have been some really great mascots, and some, ah, more ‘interesting’ examples. For your enjoyment, I’ve rounded up most of the mascots (except the Mexico games, I couldn’t find images for them): Crap none of my images came across. So check out the images here and quite a funny write up!
Schuss, 1968 Grenoble.
Schuss. A skier. He was an unofficial mascot for the games, but since Schuss, every single game has had a mascot.
Waldi, 1972 Munich
Waldi’s a daschund, which apparently is a popular breed in Bavaria. Waldi epresented the attributes required for athletes – Resistance, Tenacity and Agility.
Schneeman, 1976 Innsbruck
Wiki says he represents the Games of Simplicity. No idea what that is.
Amik, 1976 Montreal
Beaver. Flying the flag. Pretty cool, and I think Sue Sylvester is awesome too, but not sure that is what they were aiming for.
Roni, 1980 Lake Placid
Wiki says: “Its face design resembles the hat and goggles used by competitors. Named for the Adirondack Mountain range.” I think he looks a little bit like a washing machine repairman but maybe it’s a skating outfit.
Misha, 1980 Moscow
Misha was hugely popular and the first major mascot in an Olympic Games – and of course the bear is the national symbol for Russia.
Vučko, 1984 Sarajevo
Symbolizing the desire of humans to befriend animals. According to the
IOC, it helped change the common perception in the region of wolves as
frightening and blood-thirsty. A bit tangental to the games, but hey, marketing is marketing.
(lost the photos for the following mascots)
Sam, 1984 LA: Designed by Robert Moore of the Walt Disney Company. Uncle Sam. Er, not much more to be said.
Heidi & Howdy, 1988 Calgary: Western hospitality. Was pretty surreal to be met at the airport by 6 foot tall fuzzy bears in stetsons.
Hodori, 1988 Seoul: We’re grrrrrrrrrrrreat! Apparently tigers feature large in Korean legends.
Magique, 1992 Albertville: No comment.
Cobi, 1992 Barcelona: From the country of Picasso and Miro, we have a cubist catalan sheepdog. How cool is that?
Håkon and Kristin, 1994 Lillehammer: Two Norwegian kids. Getting real with the homies. I’m cool with that.
Izzy, 1996 Atlanta: The dubious honour of being the first computer generated mascot, as described by Wiki.
The Snowlets, 1998 Nagano: Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki, representing the four major islands of Japan. The first syllable of
each name combines phonetically to create the word “Snowlets”
Syd, Olly & Millie, 2000 Sydney: Olly, a kookaburra for generosity, Syd (=Sydney duh) for the environment and energy of Australians, and Millie for the millenium.
Copper, Powder & Coal, 2002 Salt Lake City: Each one is a representation of Higher, Faster & Stronger (Olympic motto: citius, altius, fortius).
Athena & Phevros, 2004 Athens: Two children as ancient greek dolls.
Neve & Gliz, 2006 Turin: Humanised ice cubes. Riiiiight.
The Fuwa, 2008 Beijing: The 5 mascots are: Beibei (贝贝), Jingjing (晶晶), Huanhuan (欢欢), Yingying (迎迎), Nini (妮妮). Their names form the Chinese phrase “Beijing huan ying ni”(北京欢迎你), which means “Beijing welcomes you”. Each one also represents an Olympic ring
and feung shui element.
Miga, Quatch, Mukmuk, 2010 Vancouver: Miga is a mythical sea bear (part Orca and kermode bear), Quatchi a sasquatch and Mukmuk a Vancouver Island Marmot.
So where does that leave us for the London Olympics? Personally I’d like to see a dictionary writing,
outrageous hat wearing, cigar chewing, english bulldog as a mascot. Please let us do better than the ice cube twins. The Guardian has a selection of 12 mascots submitted by readers – I liked the unicorn and lion from the coat of arms, and Hope & Glory – very British! Haha and of course, I also quite enjoyed Dodgee the Olympic Hoodie.