And now, the thrilling conclusion of Internet Beardo Comments On Olympic Mascots. It’s in colour and it’s after the jump.
Nagano 1998 - The Snowlets
This is what the momscot that gave birth to the PBS P-Pals would toss out of her womb if she were abusing bath salts during all three trimesters.
Atlanta 1996 - Izzy
Poor Izzy. Even though society accepts the existence of Bruce Jenner, the world doesn’t have room in its heart for two weirdly unnatural American Olympic mascots. Izzy’s design is frighteningly Poochie-esque. He’s something that was clearly created with a “kids are going think this is so cool” arrogance, with no one really stopping to point out that writing “WOO WOO HERE COMES THE MONEY TRAIN NO NOT THE SNIPES/HARRELSON MOVIE I MEAN A CHOO CHOO MADE O’ CASH” isn’t the only step you need when barfing out a spokescreature.
Oh well, at least Izzy got a crappy video game out of the deal. Go Izzy Go! Get that torch and time permitting stop my grandma from saying something super racist during the Men’s 100M Final!
Lillehammer 1994 - Kristin & Hakon
Oh no! Vikings! The international symbol of raping, pillaging and setting shit on fire! Look, I’ll give you all my Olympic commemorative pins if you don’t give me any trouble, okay? You can probably buy all kinds of a-ha albums with what these pins are worth. Just please don’t give me any trouble. (/slowly backs away)
Barcelona 1992 -Cobi
A flesh coloured nude cubist dog? You’re speaking my language, Spain! Cobi is hands down my favourite of all the Olympic mascots. He’s unique, charming and he either has a New Wave haircut or he’s handling having several axe strikes in his head with aplomb.
Albertville 1992 - Magique
Ick. Magique looks like someone crossbred the Travelocity gnome with a super penisy looking starfish. This man-star/snow-imp probably saved us from a ghost clown with a light bulb in its mouth, so maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on Magique. Still, they probably should have went with Gerard Depardieu’s nose as the mascot.
Seoul 1998 - Hodori (Plus Occasionally Hosuni)
These two are a delight. For some reason, most of the pictures I came across featured Hodori placing his right paw in the air. Is it a secret code to the North Koreans? Is he throwing up an adorable gang sign? Did he fuck the Big Boy mascot’s wife and was taunting him mercilessly through the 80s? Tell me your secret, Hodori. Also, full points to Hodori and Hosuni for wearing super medals around their necks. They’re probably just participation medals (“Good effort! Enjoy some picked over Tiger Pizza.”), but maybe they’re some sort of elite medal thing we don’t know about. Dammit! Now I’m trapped in Hodori’s world of secrets again.
Calgary 1988 - Hidy & Howdy
This is the best that Canada could come up with in 1988: Nightmare Cowboy Bears. Why would they ever trust us with the Olympics again? The costumes are either spectacularly half-assed or part of some weird fetish playset. What sorcery could draw such dead eyes and all consuming soul eating mouths? Howdy & Hidy can no longer be seen on Calgary signs, but I’m reasonably sure they live on uncomfortably in the nightmares of everyone they encounter.
Los Angeles 1984 - Sam
When you hire a guy from the Walt Disney Company to design a logo, you would imagine he’d come back with something better than Sam. Sam’s the sort of mascot you’d see at a weird American gas station where all they sell is Coors, NASCAR jackets that call Jeff Gordon “a faggot” and Combos. A frightening amount of Sam merchandise makes this bowtied patriot look like a weird old-timey factory owner. I suppose that’s what happens when you live in an era where Reagan was super popular.
Sarajevo 1984 - Vucko
Hooray for Vucko! I might actually like him better than Cobi. According to Wikipedia, Vucko symbolizes the desire of humans to befriend animals. I’d be a bit wary of befriending Vucko though. He looks like the kind of wolf that would ditch you partway through a Fang Island concert to do coke with his wolf pals from high school. Here’s another picture of Vucko that I believe might back up my theory.
Maybe he’ll turn it around by the time basketball season starts. We’re sharing season tickets! (/worries)
Moscow 1980 - Misha
Misha was sort of a mascot slam dunk. Soviet Union + Bear Cub = Mascot Excellence. It’s as simple as that. I bet when all the Western Olympic teams were told they’d be boycotting Moscow, they were like wicked sad, but then they saw the mascot and it crushed their spirit. “We could have gotten a picture taken with that bear? Damn you cold war!”, they’d say before going back to their day job at the Sears warehouse. Sigh. What could have been.
Fun(ish) Fact: Russia’s national team uses Cheburashka as their mascot. I’m more of a Gena fan, myself.
Note: All my knowledge of Cheburashka comes from my sister showing me videos. She’s a Johnny Weir level Cheburashka fan.
Lake Placid 1980 - Roni
I put the breaks on a horrible “Rocky Raccoon” parody just now. Apologies for even letting the idea of such a thing get out into the universe. Roni’s a neat mascot because he’s just a raccoon that’s a winter sport enthusiast. He probably had all sorts of important things to say about Iran hostage crisis, though. As all snowsuited raccoons did at that time. (Aside from Bert Raccoon of course, who made some very controversial statements about the issue that led to him being stripped of his Order of Canada.)
Innsbruck 1976 - Schneemann
According to Wikipedia, Innsbruck’s snowman mascot represents “the games of simplicity”. In other words, it represents “fuck it, I hear Montreal’s is shittier, let’s just knock out a snowman in a hat and call it a day.”
Montreal 1976 - Amik
Montreal Olympics Chair 1: “Sacre bleu! The Olympics are two weeks away and we don’t have a mascot!”
Montreal Olympics Chair 2: “We have this beaver Jell-o mold.”
Montreal Olympics Chair 1: “Brilliant!” (/throws out sketch of a fleur de lis wearing an FLQ windbreaker)
Munich 1972 - Waldi
Good ol’ Waldi. He holds the distinction of being the first official Olympic mascot. What better place to start the tradition than with a snooty rainbowish dog that looks like he was peeled off the wall of an Elementary school gymnasium? I’m pretty sure I saw this dog sipping Merlot on a patio near Pier One and mocking all the purchases made by the people walking out.
So ends the “He-yuck! Look at them crazy foreign sports critters” journey.