Winter Olympics 2014
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Learn about the Sochi Mascots!

 

Click and go to the Olympics website to learn about each mascot. Then click on each mascot inside the cabin to watch a Russian video and read the English captions to learn about them. Then use the browser back button to come back to our website page.

 

Click here to learn about each mascot.

 

The Olympic Mascots at Opening Ceremony!

 

 

History of the Olympic Mascots

 

Originally, the symbols of the Olympic Games were the emblem (five interlocking rings) and the Olympic flame. The idea of an Olympic mascot was officially approved at the 73rd Session of the International Olympic Committee which took place in Munich, Germany in summer 1972. The Olympic Games mascot is intended to promote the principles of Olympism and to popularize the particular Games. The mascot can be a person, an animal or a fictitious being, which reflects the cultural characteristics of the host country and symbolizes the values of the modern Olympic Movement.

 

The IOC does not regulate the procedures for choosing a mascot, leaving the decision to the Organizers of the Games. This means that the process of designing and selecting the mascot is done differently each time. More often than not, the mascots are thought up by professional designers based on public opinion surveys and market research. In this case, the Executive Board of the IOC must approve whichever mascot is chosen, since it is one of the Olympic Games symbols and will be liable to copyright laws.

 

There are several stories about the first mascots for the Olympic Games, but most people agree that the history of having cute symbols for each Games began in 1968.

 

*Who was the first winter olympics mascot?

 

The first mascot was a creature-like skier named “Schuss”. Schuss is a straight downhill run at a high speed in alpine skiing. He was so popular, he was named the unofficial mascot of the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. Though in eight years, the first official mascot was a snowman named “Schneemann,” or snowman in German, a language spoken in the European country of Austria. Ever since 1976, there has been an official mascot for every winter olympics.

 

The first official winter olympics mascot, Schneemann, represented the 1976 Winter Olympics

 

Source: https://mentalfloss.com/article/23958/weird-scary-history-winter-olympic-mascots


Contributed by: Ethan M.

 

Olympic Mascots

 

 

Stylised skier, Schuss - a toy created for the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble (France).

Badges and figures of Schuss became so popular that he became the

unofficial mascot of the Games.

 

 

 

 

 

The 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo (Japan) did not have a mascot. However, the Summer Games of the same year in Munich (Germany), had the dachshund Waldi as the mascot. This is where the tradition of official Olympic mascots began.

 

 

 

The 1976 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck (Austria) Originally the XII Olympic Winter Games were going to be held in Denver (USA). However, in a referendum residents of the city decided not to host the Games because of the threat to the environment. After a competition, the Games were moved to Innsbruck, which had hosted the Games in a previous year. The Organizers dubbed these Games “the Games of Simplicity”. The chosen mascot - an Olympic snowman - was supposed to represent this quality.

 

 

 

The 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid (USA): Roni the Racoon was chosen as the mascot, as the marks on the face of this traditional American animal resemble the goggles and winter hats worn by the competitors. This was the first time the mascot represented a competitor in a winter sport.

 

 

The 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo (Yugoslavia): Vučko the Little Wolf was voted the mascot from a choice of six candidates by the readers of three popular Yugoslavian newspapers. This symbol received a mixed response because the wolf is traditionally a frightening image. According to the designer, the little wolf symbolised the human desire “to befriend animals and become closer to nature”.

 

 

 

 

The 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (Canada):

The polar bears Hidy and Howdy were the first pair of mascots (according to their story they are brother and sister, and their names come from the word “hi”.)

 

 

 

 

The 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville (France):

The 1992 Winter Games in France were the last to be held in the same year

as the Summer Games. After this there would be a two year gap between the

sporting events; this was also the first time the Paralympic Games were held.

The mascot for the Games was a mountain elf, Magique, in the shape of a star

and in France’s national colours. This was the first time the mascot was changed.

Two years before the Games the mascot was a mountain chamois, but it was not

very popular and was changed.

 

 

 

 

The 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer (Norway): At the Games in Lillehammer

the mascots were people for the first time: a boy and girl, Håkon and Kristin,

brother and sister from Norwegian folklore. The heroes’ images were actively used

to advertise the Games, which made them very popular among athletes and fans.

 

 

 

The 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano (Japan): The Snowlets, owlets Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki,

which symbolised wisdom and the four seasons of the year. Their names were chosen from 47,484 suggestions,

which were submitted to the Organizing Committee by residents of Japan. Since the four owlets of the Nagano Games,

neither the summer nor the winter Games (not counting the Paralympic Games) have had single mascots.

 

 

 

The 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City (USA): The mascots were a hare, a coyote and a bear with very specific national characteristics. Their images were supposed to resemble the main sources of income of the city: powder, copper and coal. These characters also symbolised the Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (“Faster, higher, stronger”).

 

 

 

The 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin (Italy): The snowball Neve and ice cube Gliz, mascots for the Turin Games, were aimed at a young audience. Their main qualities included enthusiasm, passion for sport and care for the environment. The images were created by designer Pedro Albuquerque, who won an international design competition run by the Turin 2006 Organizing Committee.

 

 

 

 

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver (Canada): The 2010 Winter Games had a group of mascots: Quatchi and Miga for the Olympic Games, and Sumi for the Paralympic Games. An “unofficial” mascot was also created - Mukmuk, their so-called “sidekick”. According to the organizers, the mascots, as personifications from mythology, fulfilled an important goal - to tell the world about Canada, a country inhabited by distinctive ethnic groups.