The Top 10 Coolest Olympic Mascots
Aside from representing a team or an organization, a mascot’s main purpose is to entertain sports fans. The Olympic Games has tried to grasp this concept, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
For example, look at the mascots for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. All five of them represent something important, but their image is kind of scary and a bit weird. Involving heritage in the process of creating a mascot is vital, but sometimes it takes away from the design aspect. But it is safe to say, there are some cool mascots from past Olympic Games.
The following list highlights 10 mascots; their ranking is determined by design, originality and a “cool factor”. Many of these mascots can be cool in their own sense, but which one will prevail at the top as the “Coolest Olympic Mascot”?
Cool Olympic Mascot #10. Howdy and Hidi
The polar bear siblings were the faces of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. With both names expressing a feeling of welcome and brotherhood, they symbolized the warmth of Canadian hospitality.
Cool Olympic Mascot #9. Hodori
Tigers and marketing seem to go hand in hand and the animal was perfect for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. Hodori was designed as good-natured tiger and portrayed the friendly and hospitable traditions of the Koreans.
Cool Olympic Mascot #8. Sam
With the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles in 1984, Walt Disney decided to design a mascot. His creation: Sam, a cartoon eagle who’s not afraid of showing his true colours.
Cool Olympic Mascot #7. Vuchko
Despite looking a bit stubborn, Vuchko was a cheerful wolf who was the face of the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. The mascot helped to change the frightening image of the animal which was present in the region.
Cool Olympic Mascot #6. Waldi
The colourful dachshund was claimed to be the first official Olympic mascot at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. Along with representing athletic qualities such as resistance, tenacity and agility, Waldi’s colours also symbolized the joy of the international event.
Cool Olympic Mascot #5. Hare, Coyote and Bear
Keeping to the country’s heritage, the trio stood for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics’ motto. The snowshoe hare, coyote and American black bear represented “Citius, Altius Fortius” (Faster, Higher and Stronger).
Cool Olympic Mascot #4. Cobi
For some, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics mascot is. But the trick is to not overanalyze because Cobi is simply a dog in a suit.
Cool Olympic Mascot #3. Ollie, Syd and Millie
Whether it’s the names or the animals, the trio was perfect for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The kookaburra, platypus and echidna symbolized the event, the host city and the new millennium.
Cool Olympic Mascot #2. Schneeman
Some would find it surprising to see one of the first mascots created to be ranked so high, but the snowman is definitely cooler than most. The 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics mascot stood for the “Games of Simplicity”.
Cool Olympic Mascot #1. Izzy
One of the reasons this particular mascot for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics is at the top of the list is because nobody knew what it was. That was the point; “Izzy” was an abstract fantasy figure derived from “What is it?”.
Sources: Official Beijing Olympics Website
Which one do you think is the coolest Olympic mascot? Are there any other mascots you know of that should have been mentioned?
If you're interested in looking at other mascots that were created for the Olympic Games over the years, then you might want to head over to the official website for the Olympic Games.
[Update: This article was first written for the Summer Olympics in Bejing. I don't know if I would include the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Mascots in my list of the Top 10 Most Coolest Olympics Mascots. Would you? Where do you think they fall on the list?]