Olympic mascots are characters, usually animals native to the area or occasionally human figures, who represent the cultural heritage and significance of the place where the particular Olympic games are taking place.
Since the 1968 winter Olympic games in Grenoble, France the Olympic games have adopted mascots to accompany the event. The first major Olympic games mascot was a russian bear named Misha. Misha was designed by children's book illustrator Victor Chizhikov.
Misha was the first mascot of a sporting event to actuallyachieve large-scale commercial success as merchandise. Misha eve n had an animated TV cartoon series.
The 2000 summer Olympic mascots are some of my favorite, not only just because i am a proud australian, but also because they represent true native australian animals. The three mascots were named Ollie, Syd, and Millie. Not only are these mascots native australian animals but their names also represent something significant.
As we know the 2000 Olympic games were held in sydney so we have SYD the platypus, which Sydney for short and represents the environment and the energy of the australian people. Then we have OLLY Kookaburra which is short for Olympic, which represents the Olympic spirit of generosity. Last but not least we have MILLIE the Echidna. Millie is short for Millennium as these games were held during the transition of one millennium to another.
These mascots were designed by Matthew Hatton.
Another reason these Olympic games stand out for me is because I attended the 2000 summer paralympics. I was only 9 years old at the time but it was a memorable event for me. The most probably being the swimming event in which I saw a man with no arms and no legs pull in 3rd place in the 200 metre freestyle. It is forever vividly etched in my memory.
The mascot for the 2000 Paralympics games was a frill-necked lizard named Lizzie or Liz for short. Her frill was shaped like the combined islands of australia and tasmania.