With the Summer Olympics in full-swing, we thought now would be a good time to brush up on what we know about Olympics mascots. We've ranked our top five based on their design, their legacy, and of course - their cuteness! What's more, our design team used these mascots as inspiration to decorate a child's bedroom! Here are our five favourite mascot designs from the Olympic Games from across the years. How many of these do you remember?
Remember Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki? These four snow owls represent fire, air, earth and water respectively. Their names were selected from among 47,484 suggestions, in a public contest, where enthusiasts sent in their recommendations. The design agency that created these mascots also designed the torch for the Atlanta Games in 1996. Additionally, they took part in designing the mascots for Salt Lake City 2002 as well. These four wise fellows were the official mascots for the Nagano 1998 Olympic Games. Did you know that owls are referenced in Greek mythology and were associated with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom?
This furry duo warms our hearts and hold the fourth position for the best-looking Olympics mascots, in our view! The story behind their 'birth' comes from the tales of the First Nations on the West Coast of Canada. A Committee proposed the designing of mascots to various agencies. Out of the 117 professionals who responded, five were short-listed, from which Meomi Design ultimately developed this adorable duo.
Quatchi is a Sasquatch, a popular character from local legend who lives in the forest. His thick brown fur, quirky boots, and earmuffs made him hugely popular. Miga is a sea bear, a mythical animal that is half killer whale and half Kermode bear. Together, they were the official mascots for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
Say hello to Izzy! He was shortlisted from over 3,300 suggestions, submitted by children from 16 different countries. The children redesigned him to have a mouth, stars in his eyes and more muscles. They also gave him a nose. Did you know that the reason why he is so unique is that he is not a human, animal or object? He was, however, the official mascot created by John Ryan, DESIGNefx for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Izzy wears the five Olympic rings across his body. An educational cartoon about how Izzy had to win his five magic rings was aired as a 30-miunte special called, “Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Rings.”
Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini were the adorable mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. At Discern, they hold the second position for the best-looking mascots! Did you know that their names rhyme, by repeating the same syllable? This is the traditional Chinese way of showing affection towards children. When the five names are linked together, they make the sentence, ‘Welcome to Beijing’ (Bei Jing Huan Ying Nin). The mascots combine into ‘Fuwa,’ which translates into “good-luck dolls.” Each mascot represents a natural element, and the colours of the five Olympic rings.
Beibei the fish is a reference to Water. She is blue and the waves on her head are based on a design found in traditional Chinese paintings. Jingjing the panda represents the forest. He is black. The porcelain paintings from the Song dynasty (960-1234 AD) were the inspiration for the lotus flowers present on his head. Yingying, the Tibetan antelope, represents Earth. He is yellow and has decorative elements from Western China on his head. Nini, the swallow, represents the Sky. She is green and her design is inspired by Chinese kites. Huanhuan symbolises Fire and the Olympic spirit. His red colour stands for the passion of sport. A Dunhunag grotto art inspiration decorates his head, together with certain traditional good-luck designs.
And now...for the number 1 position! Powder the snowshoe hare, Copper the coyote and Coal the black bear were the official mascots of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002. Powder’s speed, Copper’s ability to climb the highest mountains and Coal’s strength illustrate the Olympic motto of 'Citius, Altius, Fortius', which translates into 'Faster, Higher, Stronger.' Its inspiration comes from ancient cultures found in Utah. The three animals were often major protagonists in Native American legends that were passed down from generation to generation. Did you know, almost 80 percent of the respondents (from Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Milwaukee) who were asked to submit their votes, chose these three cuties to become their official mascots!
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