An Olympics mascot is a fictional character in the form of a human, animal which represents the cultural heritage of the host nations of Olympic and Paralympics. The idea of the mascot was to attract the younger audience towards games. But mascots have become so popular that it is also helpful for the promotion of games. The mascots are used for merchandising. Mascots are also considered to bring good luck.
We all love the mascots. They are cute and grab our attention. Do you know when the Olympic mascot was born? Here we are sharing all the details of the Olympic mascot and a list of all Olympics mascots.
When was the first Olympic mascot born?
This is one of the most common questions asked when information regarding the mascot is shared. So we decided to share the authentic information regarding the birth of the Olympic mascot. The first Olympics mascot was used at Grenoble Olympic Games in 1968. But it was unofficial and the first official Olympic mascot appeared at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. His name was Waldi. Waldi was a representation of the Dachshund dog, a popular breed in Bavaria. It showcased the attributes necessary for every athlete – resistance, tenacity and agility.
List of Olympic Mascots – Have a look at all Olympic Mascots [1968 – 2020]
Let’s take a tour through a memory lane and have a look at all Olympic Mascots. We will share the mascot images if available for better understanding.
1968 Winter Olympics Games – Schuss
Schuss was the first unofficial Olympic mascot. It was a representation of a man on a skiboard. The Stylized skier was painted in the colors of France – blue, red and white.
1972 Summer Olympic Games – Waldi
Waldi is considered as first official Olympics Mascot. Waldi was a representation of the Dachshund dog, a popular breed in Bavaria. It showcased the attributes necessary for every athlete – resistance, tenacity and agility. Waldi was designed by Otl Aicher.
1976 Winter Olympic Games – Schneemann
Schneemann was the official mascot for the 1976 Winter Olympic games held at Innsbruck, Austria. Schneemann is also considered as the first official mascot of Winter games. The mascot was a representation of Tyrolean snowman and was designed by Walter Pötsch. The mascot was a snowman with a Tyrolean hat. A tyrolean hat is a popular hat worn in the Innsbruck. Schneemann showcased the message – Games of Simplicity.
1976 Summer Olympic Games – Amik
The 1976 Summer Olympics were held in Montreal, Canada. Amik means Beaver in the Algonquin language. Amik or Beaver was the official mascot because it is an animal strongly associated with Canada. It is one of the national symbols of Canada and was designed by Yvon Laroche, Pierre-Yves Pelletier, Guy St-Arnaud and George Huel.
1980 Winter Olympic Games – Roni
Roni was the official mascot for the 1980 Winter Olympic games. Roni was a representation of Raccoon. The 1980 Winter Olympic games were held at Lake Placid. The raccoon is a popular animal from the mountainous region of the Adirondacks where Lake Placid is situated. Roni means raccoon in the Iroquoian language. Iroquoian is the language of the native people from Lake Placid. The name was chosen by school children in Lake Placid.
1980 Summer Olympic Games – Misha
Misha also called Mishka was the Russian bear and was the official mascot for the summer Olympic games in Moscow, Russia. Famous children’s book illustrator Victor Chizhikov had designed Misha. The Russian bear was a national symbol of the Soviet Union. Misha is considered as the first mascot of sporting events that gained large-scale commercial success in merchandise. The mascot was used extensively during the event.
1984 Winter Olympic Games – Vučko
The 1984 Winter Olympic games were held at Sarajevo. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vucko is a wolf, an animal typically found in the forests of the Dinaric Alps region. The design of Vucko was done by Slovenian painter Jože Trobec. The mascot represented the wolf not only because it was found in those areas but due to its representation. The wolf represents courage and strength and symbolizes winter. Vucko’s cute and friendly image also helped to change the ferocious image of the wolf.
1984 Summer Olympic Games – Sam
Los Angeles, United States was the official host of the summer Olympic games in 1984. Sam the Olympic eagle is a bald eagle. Eagle is a national bird and a symbolic figure in the USA. Eagle is a patriotic symbol and was named Sam also suggests a kinship with Uncle Sam, another American symbol. Sam was designed by an artist who worked for Disney – Bob Moore.
1988 Winter Olympic Games – Hidy and Howdy
The 1988 Winter olympic games were hosted by Calgary, Canada. Hidy and Howdy were the official mascots for the games. Hidy and Howdy were anthropomorphic twin polar bears who wore western/cowboy-style outfits. The two polar bears were designed by Sheila Scott and they represented Western Canadian hospitality.
1988 Summer Olympic Games – Hodori
Hodori was the official mascot for the 1988 summer Olympic games held in Seoul, South Korea. Hodori was a tiger cub and was designed by Kim Hyun. Hodori represented the friendly and hospitality tradition of South Korea.
1992 Winter Olympic Games – Magique
The 1992 winter Olympics were hosted by Albertville. Albertville is located in the southeastern part of France. Magique was the official mascot for the games. Magique is a little imp in the shape of a star and a cube. Magique was designed by Philippe Mairesse. Magique is also the first mascot that was not an animal representation. The star shape symbolizes dreams and imagination and the color scheme was taken from the French flag.
1992 Summer Olympic Games – Cobi and Petra
The 1992 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in Barcelona, Spain. Cobi and Petra were respective mascots for the Olympics and Paralympic games. Cobi is a Catalan sheepdog that was designed by Javier Mariscal. Before the games, the mascots Cobi and Petra also appeared in various sponsors’ advertisements. Cobi and Petra also had their own TV series – Cobi Troupe.
1994 Winter Olympic Games – Håkon and Kristin
The 1994 winter Olympics were held in Lillehammer, Norway. Håkon and Kristin were official mascots for the games. Håkon and Kristin were two happy Norwegian children, a boy and a girl. Both were dressed in Viking clothes. Håkon and Kristin were the first mascots to be human figures. The mascots were created by Kari Werner and her husband illustrator Werner Grossmann.
1996 Summer Olympic Games – Izzy
The 1996 Olympic games were held at Atlanta, United States of America. The official mascot of the games was named Izzy. It was originally named Whatizit (“What is it?”) during the closing ceremony of the 1992 Olympics. Izzy is also known to be the first computer-generated mascot. John Ryan was the creator of the abstract figure.
1998 Winter Olympic Games – The Snow lets
Nagano, Japan was the official host for the 1998 Winter Olympics Games. Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki, popularly recognized as the snow lets were official mascots for the winter games. These four snowy owls represented respectively fire (Sukki), air (Nokki), earth (Lekki) and water (Tsukki) and together they also represented the four islands of Japan.
2000 Summer Olympic Games – Olly, Syd and Millie
Meet Olly, Syd and Millie – the official mascots of the 2000 summer Olympic games. These mascots were created and designed by Matthew Hattan and Jozef Szekeres. The Olly was short form for the Olympics and represented the Olympic spirit of generosity. Syd was short form for Sydney and represented the environment and energy of the people of Australia. Millie was short form for Millennium.
2002 Winter Olympic Games – Powder, Copper and Coal
Powder, Copper and Coal were the official mascots of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Steve Small, known for his Disney’s Hercules work illustrated the 2002 Winter games mascot. The mascots were animals usually found in the state of Utah and were named after the natural resources which are important to the state economy.
2004 Summer Olympic Games – Athena and Phevos
The Olympics were back home in 2004 with Athens, Greece hosting the Summer Olympic Games. The motto of the games was ‘Welcome home’ and Athena and Phevos were the official mascot to welcome the world. Athena and Phevos represented children resembling ancient Greek dolls. Athena and Phevos represented the common link between Greek history and the modern Olympic Games.
2006 Winter Olympic Games – Neve and Gliz
The Winter Olympics of 2006 were held in Turin, Italy. Turin is the business and cultural capital of Northern Italy. Neve and Gliz were the official mascots for the winter games. They represented snow and ice respectively. Neve means Snow in the Italian language. Neve is a humanized female snowball who wears a red costume which represents softness, friendship and elegance. Gliz is a shortened form of Ghiaccio. Ghiaccio is an Italian word that means Ice. Gliz is a humanized male ice cube who wears blue and represents enthusiasm and joy. Neve and Gliz were created by Pedro Albuquerque.
2008 Summer Olympic Games – Fuwa
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games were held at Beijing, China. Fuwa was the official mascot for the olympic games. Fuwa means good luck dolls and were created by Han Meilin, a famous Chinese artist. The five Fuwas – Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini when together form the sentence “Beijing huanying ni”. Beijing huanying ni means Beijing welcomes you. But it was confusing for everyone to pronounce so they were renamed to Fuwas. These five Fuwas represented an Olympic ring and Feng Shui element.
2010 Winter Olympic Games – Miga, Quatchi and Mukmuk
The 2010 Winter Olympic Games were held in Vancouver. Miga and Quatchi were the official mascots of the winter games. Miga is a Mythical sea bear while Quatchi is a sasquatch. For the first time in the history of the Olympics, both Summer Olympics and Paralympics mascots were unveiled at the same time.
2012 Summer Olympic Games – Wenlock
Wenlock was the official mascot for the 2021 Summer olympic games in London. The mascot was named after Much Wenlock and was created by Iris, a London-based creative agency. The design of Wenlock is unique and as per the story, they were formed by the last girder of the Olympic Stadium. The outer skin of the mascot is well polished steel and the one eye is of camera. The yellow lights on head symbolize the London taxis.
2014 Winter Olympic Games – Polar Bear, Hare, Leopard
Bely Mishka (Polar Bear), Snow Leopard (Leopard), Zaika (Hare) were the official mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in 2014. The selection of the mascot was done by a very unique process. Total eleven mascots were shortlisted and were shown to the Russian public through TV broadcast – Channel One. The Russians voted for their favorite mascot via text message. In this way, Sochi Winter Olympic Mascots became the first mascots decided by popular vote.
2016 Summer Olympic Games – Vinicius
Meet Vinicius – the official mascot for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. The Vinicius was brought to reality by a São Paulo-based animation company Birdo. The company was selected through a national tender process in Brazil. Vinicius represented the wildlife of Brazil and combined aspects of cats, monkeys, and birds.
2018 Winter Olympic Games – Soohorang
Soohorang was the official mascot for the 2018 winter Olympic games held in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, South Korea. Soohorang is a white tiger. Tigers are associated with Korean mythology and is a symbol of trust, strength, and protection.
Miraitowa is the official mascot for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The 2020 Olympics were postponed to 2021 due to the Covid 19 issue. Miraitowa is a robot with blue chequered patterns from the official emblem. It was created by Ryo Taniguchi. Miraitowa is a fictional superhero that embodies both old tradition and new innovation. The mascot was chosen from various illustrations submitted by school kids, college teens and illustrators across Japan. For more details click here.
2022 Winter Olympic Games – Bing Dwen Dwen
Bing Dwen Dwen is the official mascot for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. A mascot design competition was held in which the Panda mascot was selected as Bing Dwen Dwen. It was created by Cao Xue and Jiang Yufan. Bing Dwen Dwen is a giant panda with a suit of ice, a heart of gold and a love of all things winter sports.