In pictures: A look at all the Olympics mascots through the ages
The Olympic Mascot has been part of the Summer Games since the 1972 edition, that was hosted by Munich. The mascot represents a cultural heritage of the place where the event is held. They are also used as a means to market the Games among the younger generation, particularly the children.
Here’s a look at the different mascots at the Summer Games:
1972 Munich Olympics
Waldi was the first official mascot at an Olympic Games. He was based on a real life long-haired Dachshund named Cherie von Birkenhof, which German designer Otl Aicher used as a model.
1976 Montreal Olympics
Amik the beaver was the mascot at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The beaver was selected as the mascot since it is a symbol of hard work. It is also an animal native to Canada, the host country for that Olympics.
1980 Moscow Olympics
Mish the bear was designed by the children’s book illustrator Victor Chizikov. This was the first mascot that gained a lot of commercial success, in terms of merchandise and was extensively used during both the opening as well as the closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
1984 Los Angeles Olympics
Sam the eagle was the mascot for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. He is a bald eagle, which is the national bird of the United States. He was designed by Bob Moore, who was an artist for Disney.
1988 Seoul Olympics
Hodori was the mascot for the Seoul Olympics held in the year 1988. “Ho” in Korean means Tiger and “dori” refers to boys. The mascot was designed by Kim Hyun and it portrays the hospitable and friendly traditions of the Korean people.
1992 Barcelona Olympics
The 1992 edition saw Cobi the sheepdog being chosen as the mascot for the event. Designed by Javier Marascal, it was unveiled in 1987 and derives its name from the Organising Committee- the Barcelona Olympic Organising Committee(COOB).
1996 Atlanta Olympics
The final Olympics to be held in the 20th century, the mascot for Atlanta was Izzy, an animated character with the ability to morph into different forms. The mascot was unlike others as it didnt depict any nationally important animal or a human figure.