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Beijing 2022 Olympics | Winter Olympic mascots through the years

Olympics mascots have been a key part of the Games since 1968. They embody the spirit of the Olympics, spread the values highlighted at each edition of the Games – history and culture of the host city – and play a vital role in welcoming athletes and visitors to the Games. Over the years, the mascots for the Winter Olympics have been abstract forms, animals and humans. And they have remained in the public memory.

January 29, 2022 / 09:15 AM IST
Bing Dwen Dwen, the cheerful panda, is the official mascot for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. In Beijing, Bing Dwen Dwen is everywhere — on buses, at street corners and hanging from the rafters at some official Olympic venues. He is the face that those in a strict Olympic bubble at the Beijing Games will take back with them. Olympics mascots have been a key part of the Games since 1968. They embody the spirit of the Olympics, spread the values highlighted at each edition of the Games – history and culture of the host city – and play a vital role in welcoming athletes and visitors to the Games. The process to choose Olympic mascots is based on various factors. One was decided by a newspaper poll, one by a public vote and some others through a contest. The most recent was chosen from thousands of global entries of illustrations by children. Over the years, the mascots for the Winter Olympics have been abstract forms, animals and humans. And they have remained in the public memory. Let’s take a look at the Winter Olympic mascots through the years. (Image: AP)
Bing Dwen Dwen, the cheerful panda, is the official mascot for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. In Beijing, Bing Dwen Dwen is everywhere — on buses, at street corners and hanging from the rafters at some official Olympic venues. He is the face that those in a strict Olympic bubble at the Beijing Games will take back with them. Olympics mascots have been a key part of the Games since 1968. They embody the spirit of the Olympics, spread the values highlighted at each edition of the Games – history and culture of the host city – and play a vital role in welcoming athletes and visitors to the Games. The process to choose Olympic mascots is based on various factors. One was decided by a newspaper poll, one by a public vote and some others through a contest. The most recent was chosen from thousands of global entries of illustrations by children. Over the years, the mascots for the Winter Olympics have been abstract forms, animals and humans. And they have remained in the public memory. Let’s take a look at the Winter Olympic mascots through the years. (Image: AP)
2018 | JoongAng Ilbo designed Soohorang, the mascot of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which took its motif from the white tiger. The white tiger has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. Korean mythology regards white tigers to be guardian animals for the Republic of Korea. These animals are sacred symbols of strength and protection. “Sooho” means “protection” in Korean, while “Rang” is derived from the Korean word “ho-rang-I” which means “tiger.” (Image: AP)
2018 | JoongAng Ilbo designed Soohorang, the mascot of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which took its motif from the white tiger. The white tiger has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. Korean mythology regards white tigers to be guardian animals for the Republic of Korea. These animals are sacred symbols of strength and protection. “Sooho” means “protection” in Korean, while “Rang” is derived from the Korean word “ho-rang-I” which means “tiger.” (Image: AP)
2014 | The three mascots for the Sochi Olympic Games - the Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard - were selected after a contest that was first held across the whole of Russia, then internationally. Some 24,048 drawings were received in total. Ten proposals were chosen by a jury of experts for the second phase of the contest. Professional designers then worked on them to reveal their final shape. The final decision was taken in a vote by the Russian public as part of a TV programme entitled “Talismaniya Sochi 2014 - The Final” on 26 February 2011. Silviya Petrova designed Hare, Oleg Seredechniy created Polar Bear and Leopard is created by Vadim Pak. There are three mascots in a nod to the three places on the Olympic podium. (Image: AP)
2014 | The three mascots for the Sochi Olympic Games - the Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard - were selected after a contest that was first held across the whole of Russia, then internationally. Some 24,048 drawings were received in total. Ten proposals were chosen by a jury of experts for the second phase of the contest. Professional designers then worked on them to reveal their final shape. The final decision was taken in a vote by the Russian public as part of a TV programme entitled “Talismaniya Sochi 2014 - The Final” on 26 February 2011. Silviya Petrova designed Hare, Oleg Seredechniy created Polar Bear and Leopard is created by Vadim Pak. There are three mascots in a nod to the three places on the Olympic podium. (Image: AP)
2010 | The mascots for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics mascots were creatures inspired by the fauna and tales of the First Nations on the West Coast of Canada. Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy, Meomi design created two characters, Quatchi and Miga. Quatchi is a sasquatch, a popular character from local legend who lives in the forest. He is covered in thick fur and wears boots and earmuffs. Miga is a sea bear, a mythical animal that is part killer whale and part Kermode bear. The Kermode bear, also called “Spirit Bear”, lives only in British Columbia. (Image: Olympics)
2010 | The mascots for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics mascots were creatures inspired by the fauna and tales of the First Nations on the West Coast of Canada. Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy, Meomi design created two characters, Quatchi and Miga. Quatchi is a sasquatch, a popular character from local legend who lives in the forest. He is covered in thick fur and wears boots and earmuffs. Miga is a sea bear, a mythical animal that is part killer whale and part Kermode bear. The Kermode bear, also called “Spirit Bear”, lives only in British Columbia. (Image: Olympics)
2006 | Neve and Gliz were the mascots for the 2006 Turin Olympics. Neve is a snowball and Gliz an ice cube. They both smile enthusiastically, conveying joy, a positive outlook and a sunny approach. But above all they are two natural elements without which there would be no Winter Games: snow and ice. The creator of the mascot is Pedro Albuquerque. (Image: AP)
2006 | Neve and Gliz were the mascots for the 2006 Turin Olympics. Neve is a snowball and Gliz an ice cube. They both smile enthusiastically, conveying joy, a positive outlook and a sunny approach. But above all they are two natural elements without which there would be no Winter Games: snow and ice. The creator of the mascot is Pedro Albuquerque. (Image: AP)
2002 | Landor/Publicis created three mascots for the Salt Lake City Games. The names Powder, Coal and Copper are an allusion to Utah's snow, its natural resources and its land. Powder is a snowshoe hare; Copper is a coyote, and Coal, a black bear. Over 42,000 school children gave their advice on the mascots' names. (Image: Olympics)
2002 | Landor/Publicis created three mascots for the Salt Lake City Games. The names Powder, Coal and Copper are an allusion to Utah's snow, its natural resources and its land. Powder is a snowshoe hare; Copper is a coyote, and Coal, a black bear. Over 42,000 school children gave their advice on the mascots' names. (Image: Olympics)
1998 | Four mascots, created by Landor Associates, supported the Nagano Games: the snowy owls Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki. In the name Sowlets, “Snow” refers to the winter season, during which the Games take place, and “lets” refers to “let’s”, an invitation to join in the Games celebrations. In addition, the first two letters of the four names form the word “snowlets”. “Owlets” means young owls. The names were selected from over 47,000 proposals submitted by the population. (Image: AP)
1998 | Four mascots, created by Landor Associates, supported the Nagano Games: the snowy owls Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki. In the name Sowlets, “Snow” refers to the winter season, during which the Games take place, and “lets” refers to “let’s”, an invitation to join in the Games celebrations. In addition, the first two letters of the four names form the word “snowlets”. “Owlets” means young owls. The names were selected from over 47,000 proposals submitted by the population. (Image: AP)
1994 | Norwegian children Haakon and Kristin, dressed in Viking outfits, were the first mascots in human form. The 1994 Lillehammer mascots are said to have been inspired by historical figures Håkon IV Håkonson, the 13th century king of Norway, and his aunt Princess Kristin. Kari and Werner Grossman, created the mascots for the Lillehammer Games, based on an idea by Javier Ramirez Campuzano. (Image: AP)
1994 | Norwegian children Haakon and Kristin, dressed in Viking outfits, were the first mascots in human form. The 1994 Lillehammer mascots are said to have been inspired by historical figures Håkon IV Håkonson, the 13th century king of Norway, and his aunt Princess Kristin. Kari and Werner Grossman, created the mascots for the Lillehammer Games, based on an idea by Javier Ramirez Campuzano. (Image: AP)
1992 | Magique, the mascot of the 1992 Albertville Games, has a playful design. A little imp in the shape of a star and a cube, Magique was the first mascot that was not an animal since the Innsbruck 1976 Games. His star shape symbolised dreams and imagination. His colours came from the French flag. The creator of the mascot is the graphic artist and illustrator Philippe Mairesse. (Image: Olympics)
1992 | Magique, the mascot of the 1992 Albertville Games, has a playful design. A little imp in the shape of a star and a cube, Magique was the first mascot that was not an animal since the Innsbruck 1976 Games. His star shape symbolised dreams and imagination. His colours came from the French flag. The creator of the mascot is the graphic artist and illustrator Philippe Mairesse. (Image: Olympics)
1988 | The polar bears ‘Hidy’ and ‘Howdy’ were presented by the creator Sheila Scott as official mascots of the 1988 Calgary Games. For the first time there are two mascots, one female and one male. The mascots' names represent the Calgary region's hospitality. Thus “Hidy” is an extension of “hi”, and “Howdy” is short for “how do you do”, a typical western American greeting. The names were selected in a public competition. (Image: Olympics)
1988 | The polar bears ‘Hidy’ and ‘Howdy’ were presented by the creator Sheila Scott as official mascots of the 1988 Calgary Games. For the first time there are two mascots, one female and one male. The mascots' names represent the Calgary region's hospitality. Thus “Hidy” is an extension of “hi”, and “Howdy” is short for “how do you do”, a typical western American greeting. The names were selected in a public competition. (Image: Olympics)
1984 | A wolf isn’t an expected character for a mascot but the 1984 Sarajevo Games transformed an animal known to be feared into a friendly image. In Yugoslavian fables, the wolf symbolizes winter. Vučko the wolf was chosen through a contest with hundreds of participants. The mascot was the creation of Joze Trobec, an academic painter from Kranj in Slovenia. (Image: AP)
1984 | A wolf isn’t an expected character for a mascot but the 1984 Sarajevo Games transformed an animal known to be feared into a friendly image. In Yugoslavian fables, the wolf symbolizes winter. Vučko the wolf was chosen through a contest with hundreds of participants. The mascot was the creation of Joze Trobec, an academic painter from Kranj in Slovenia. (Image: AP)
1980 | Roni was the mascot for the 1980 Lake Placid Games. It was designed by Don Francis Moss. The name Roni was chosen by Lake Placid school children. It comes from the word “racoon” in Iroquoian, the language of the Indigenous people from the region of the state of New York and Lake Placid. (Image: Olympics)
1980 | Roni was the mascot for the 1980 Lake Placid Games. It was designed by Don Francis Moss. The name Roni was chosen by Lake Placid school children. It comes from the word “racoon” in Iroquoian, the language of the Indigenous people from the region of the state of New York and Lake Placid. (Image: Olympics)
1976 | Schneemandl is said to have been a commercial success and inspired versions of living mascots. Austrian for “Snowman,” Schneemandl was the mascot for the 1976 Innsbruck Games. It was designed by Walter M. Pötsch. The Schneemandl was omnipresent before and during the Games and became a huge financial success due to the numerous souvenirs that were sold all over Austria. (Image: AP)
1976 | Schneemandl is said to have been a commercial success and inspired versions of living mascots. Austrian for “Snowman,” Schneemandl was the mascot for the 1976 Innsbruck Games. It was designed by Walter M. Pötsch. The Schneemandl was omnipresent before and during the Games and became a huge financial success due to the numerous souvenirs that were sold all over Austria. (Image: AP)
1968 | Shuss, a man on skis in abstract form, was the first official mascot for a Winter Olympics. This character, produced on the occasion of the 1968 Grenoble Olympic Games by Aline Lafargue, was made in the colors of France: blue, red and white. The name, “Shuss”, was chosen by the agency commissioned by the Organising Committee to advertise for these Games. (Image: Olympics)
1968 | Shuss, a man on skis in abstract form, was the first official mascot for a Winter Olympics. This character, produced on the occasion of the 1968 Grenoble Olympic Games by Aline Lafargue, was made in the colors of France: blue, red and white. The name, “Shuss”, was chosen by the agency commissioned by the Organising Committee to advertise for these Games. (Image: Olympics)
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