Since the first mascot in Olympic history made its appearance at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Olympic Mascots have become a main element of the Olympic image.
A good Mascot is a symbol of the spirit of the Olympics in general; while, at the same time, teaching the world something about the country where the event is taking place. In my opinion, mascots should exude a positive and focused energy and enthusiasm for the games as well as the city, country and culture they represent.
The London 2012 Olympic Games mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, is a pair who are based on a short story that tells how they were fashioned from droplets of the steel used to build the Olympic stadium. However, without seeing the film that was produced to explain their creation, you would have no idea who they were.
With a metallic finish, a single large eye made out of a camera lens, a London taxi light on their heads and the Olympic rings represented as friendship bracelets on their wrists, it almost seems they resemble characters dreamed up for a Disney animation.
Past Olympic mascots that were fondly remembered include:
Waldi, was the 1972 Olympic Summer Games in Munich, Germany the dachshund possesses qualities that are indispensable to an athlete: resistance, tenacity and agility. These are among the reasons he was chosen to be the mascot. He was dressed in pastel colours to express the joy of the Olympic festival.
Misha the 1980 Moscow Olympic bear was developed from the renowned illustrator of children’s books, Victor Chizikov. Misha became an instant international success.
Ollie, Syd and Millie are three native Australian animals chosen as mascots for the Sydney Summer 2000 Games. They represent earth, air and water. "Ollie", a kookaburra, epitomizes the Olympic spirit of generosity and universal generosity (from Olympic); "Syd", a platypus, represents the environment and captures the vigor and energy of Australia and its people (from Sydney); "Millie", an echidna, is a techno-whiz and information guru, with all the facts and figures at her fingertips (from Millennium).
As you can imagine, picking actual one-eyed monsters as its official mascots has opened London to international ridicule. I’m sure with time (lots of it), Wenlock and Mandeville will grow on you but they’re a bit too teletubbie looking for my taste. It seems so long are the days of soft, plush mascots.