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2010 Olympic Mascots Unveiled
November 27, 2007 1:48 PM   Subscribe

The official mascots of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics were unveiled today. There are three: a sasquatch, a mythical sea-bear, and a thunderbird-bear spirit, all first-nations inspired. Here's the design firm's website. Previous olympic mascots: Beijing 2008, others.
posted by PercussivePaul (86 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like 'em.
posted by drezdn at 1:53 PM on November 27, 2007


As long as the sasquatch doesn't wind up in any Kokanee ads, then this is a good idea.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:56 PM on November 27, 2007


Well, those are hideous.

But why should they be different from any other Olympic mascot?

Might just be me, I guess. I really don't get that style of illustration/animation.
posted by rtha at 1:56 PM on November 27, 2007


At least it's not an orca.
posted by good in a vacuum at 1:59 PM on November 27, 2007


Well, it's obvious which mascot is on steroids.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:00 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have an urge to catch them all. And then pit them in a duel. In a stadium. For Pokemons.
posted by phyrewerx at 2:04 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


By the way, there are tons of reader comments in the 'unveiled today' link above.
"Miga? Quatchi? Sumi? Are the 2010 games in Canada or Japan?"
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:06 PM on November 27, 2007


SASQUATCH FTW
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:07 PM on November 27, 2007


But Titor said that this wouldn't happen!!! /spittle
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


He wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty thunderbird and runs on the strong furry legs of the black bear.

Well, they've nailed that smug Vancouverite we-are-the-world tone, in any case.

*ducks*

*realizes this is Vancouver we're talking about*

*assembles Charter defense for use at questionable-language conflict-resolution circle*

And if Quatchi's superstardom can in any way encourage people to pick up my (B.C.-born) Graham Roumieu's excellent volume on Bigfoot's true character, I can live with this Japanese-Candy-Mascots-In-Earmuffs vibe, I guess.
posted by gompa at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Quatchi = Todd Bertuzzi.

And Miga is a young sea bear who lives in the ocean...Sea bears are part killer whale and part bear. Someone is keeping the spirit of our dope smoking province with that back story. And they musn't have been able to get the Liger from Napoloean Dynamite due to copyright difficulties.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I liked the torino mascots - only because of a mashup of them and this that some goon posted awhile back... :)
posted by anthill at 2:09 PM on November 27, 2007


Research showed that 98% of all olympic pins, hats, and t-shirts were bought by Japanese females between the ages of 8-15, so these designs make perfect sense.

In all seriousness though, I like these. Especially Quatchi. So much better then those weird googly mascots of recent years. Remember this one?
posted by cell divide at 2:09 PM on November 27, 2007


The seabear I'm pretty meh about, but I like the other two.
posted by juv3nal at 2:14 PM on November 27, 2007


Vancouver is in Anime Prefecture, Japan?

I remember watching cartoons as a child: after some point, all the kids' shows had a "cute" character that the littlest kids could identify with: "Scrappy Doo" in Scooby Doo, "Gleep" and his Wonder Twin masters in Superfriends, "Uni" the unicorn and his puerile "barbarian" master in that D&D-inspired cartoon, "Erkel" and "Screech" in whatever and whatever.

I've always hated these lowest-common-denominator caricatures designed to appeal to children and the childish, and I hate them even more associated with the Olympics. The Olympics is supposed to be about achievement, about the fluidity and the strength of the human body, about the sublime accomplishments of (supposedly) amateur citizen-athletes. Not cuddly quasi-animals condescendngly purporting to "honor" the First Nations.

If saccharine cuteness is required to make the Olympics interesting, we've lost the whole point of the competition. And largely we have: in the popular sports these aren't amateurs anymore, they're highly trained and constantly coached product endorsers, whether that product is Wheaties or the Red Star of China. Cities compete to get the games, build giant complexes that will never again be used, everything subsumed by PR and hype and manufactured excitement, the stands full of people who don't give a damn about the sports and only care for the spectacle and about bragging that up in seats 223 and 225CCCC, they were there at the Olympics.

Forget it; I'd rather watch a game of darts at the pub. (And yes, I'm embarrassed to publicly admit I remember those cartoons.)
posted by orthogonality at 2:16 PM on November 27, 2007 [9 favorites]


Perhaps the mascot for the 2012 Olympics could be a London taxpayer.
posted by rhymer at 2:16 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, and none of 'em's fit to carry the acid-laced water bowl of Munich '72's psychedelic weiner dog.

Seriously, does it come in an overstuffed couch? Because I'll take two.
posted by gompa at 2:17 PM on November 27, 2007


Pfft. They got the Sydney one wrong. Everybody knows it was Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:20 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, they're no Izzy.

So, they've got that going for them, at least.
posted by yhbc at 2:20 PM on November 27, 2007


This is the best mascot for any major sporting event that I can remember.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 2:23 PM on November 27, 2007


Pfft. They got the Sydney one wrong. Everybody knows it was Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat.
Not only that, but they got the names wrong. Everyone knows it was Syd, Ollie and Dickhead.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:25 PM on November 27, 2007


This was a little too much like an episode of Happy Tree Friends. I kept waiting for Quatchi to get a puck in the eye or something.

The music was done by Kid Koala!
posted by painquale at 2:25 PM on November 27, 2007


None of the three mascots actually exist in real life

Oh, whatever. Spoil sports.
posted by brundlefly at 2:26 PM on November 27, 2007


Oh please, orthogonality, it's a mascot, it's supposed to be friendly and for children. It does nothing to reduce the competition! It's for selling shirts and showing you where to go as you navigate around the venues. Have you seen the usual tripe they come up with? I'll take cute over incoherent any day.
posted by cell divide at 2:28 PM on November 27, 2007


Quatchi is the shit.

I recently broke my coffee mug featuring Hodori from the 1988 Olympics. It survived a trans-Pacific plane flight and almost twenty years in my house, but only a few weeks in my office.

It was salmon pink and I loved it.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:29 PM on November 27, 2007


I don't think it's been linked in this thread yet, so here's the 2008 Beijing mascots (there are 5 of them).
posted by cell divide at 2:33 PM on November 27, 2007


a long sought-after half-man

If that doesn't scream "Olympic mascot" I don't know what does.
posted by brain_drain at 2:34 PM on November 27, 2007


These mascots always suck. Remember the Atlanta mascot Whatizzit? That was bad enough that I think they had the good sense to banish it.

At the Nagano Olympics, the "snowlets" were given names that were supposed to sound Finnish, but just sound Wrong: Lekki, Tsukki, Nokki and Sukki. Seriously, this sounds like a quartet of Bond Girls from You Only Live Twice.
posted by adamrice at 2:34 PM on November 27, 2007


I've always hated these lowest-common-denominator caricatures designed to appeal to children and the childish,

But children are the future!

Children, children, future, future!

Kids!
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nothing could ever surpass Priapiskos, the tumescent satyr who was mascot for the 482 BCE Olympics.
posted by felix betachat at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2007 [11 favorites]


They remind me of Katamari Damacy.
posted by the dief at 2:39 PM on November 27, 2007


Oh man, Meomi! I love Meomi so much! I own The Octonauts and the Lonely Monster, and I'm hoping to get The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade and now there's Miga and Sumi and Quatchi (!!!!) and it's taking all my resolve and strength to just not start squealing like a 12-year-old girl.

omgomgomgomgeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I'm good now. Honest.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:40 PM on November 27, 2007


cell divide writes "Oh please, orthogonality, it's a mascot, it's supposed to be friendly and for children."

If a child (even one over 18) can't appreciate the Olympics for its true essence, they shouldn't be taking up space at the Games.

This is also why I hate seeing (most) kids at grown-up theater; the kid can't appreciate it and inevitably, the production will be degraded in some way to condescend to the kid, or the kid will start talking. (Have to admit that their was a respectful quiet kid last time I went to see Pirates, and yuppie-mom did a good job of explaining the story on the way out of the theater.) Like subtitles ("surtitles") at the opera. Completely distracts from the production, but makes fat lazy American children happy because they think they "get" the story. And every time the orchestra come to the end of a movement, they drown out the music they're paying to hear, with their clapping. Jesus. It's as if they all think that they'd dry up and disappear if they merely savored a moment without adding the din of their clapping to announce "lookit me! I's here and I's clappin' Lookit!".

More stoic silence would be a major improvement everywhere. Please, more silence, less cuteness, and fewer giggles, OK?
posted by orthogonality at 2:43 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Their design looks very Japanese so I wouldn't be surprised at all to find those mascots being replicated over and over again by Japanese artists in the next few months. Doujins based on them will probably be only the beginning.
posted by Memo at 2:44 PM on November 27, 2007


P.S: I hate how the only thing they say is their names, it's like Pokemon all over again.
posted by Memo at 2:45 PM on November 27, 2007



Oh man, Meomi!


Oh wow. I didn't notice that link. That's Vicky Wong's studio, eh? I remember her news postings on k10k back in the day.
posted by juv3nal at 2:51 PM on November 27, 2007


apparently I can't spell her name either.
posted by juv3nal at 2:51 PM on November 27, 2007


Speaking as a Vancouverite and someone who is just this side of the line in supporting the 2010 Olympics:

WHAT. THE. FUCK?!
posted by illiad at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2007


Man, I swear I've seen a picture of Sumi before. Nailed to a barn wall or something. Can't find it now. I think that dude in the black fedora who keeps stopping by my house at night must work for the Vancouver Olympic Committee, and he's trying to return my copy of the photo.

Wait, which thread is this?
posted by lord_wolf at 2:55 PM on November 27, 2007


Katemonkey, I just want to say I really enjoyed the pronounciation of 'geeee' in omg.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2007


Like subtitles ("surtitles") at the opera. Completely distracts from the production, but makes fat lazy American children happy because they think they "get" the story. And every time the orchestra come to the end of a movement, they drown out the music they're paying to hear, with their clapping. Jesus. It's as if they all think that they'd dry up and disappear if they merely savored a moment without adding the din of their clapping to announce "lookit me! I's here and I's clappin' Lookit!".

You sound like a villain in a children's story.
posted by brain_drain at 3:02 PM on November 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


Does this mean the Sasquatch Militia be providing security for the Olympics?
posted by homunculus at 3:07 PM on November 27, 2007


My favorite mascot ever. A nice blend of adorable and art or something like that.

Those Vancouver mascots will serve their purpose, I guess. But I will forget them as soon as the game's over. And I still got (and treasure) my Cobi coffee cup!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:10 PM on November 27, 2007


I'd rather watch an amusing cartoon with these three characters than the winter olympics any day of the week.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:15 PM on November 27, 2007


here's the 2008 Beijing mascots (there are 5 of them).

Actually, there are only four since one of them defected.
posted by homunculus at 3:17 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


“More stoic silence would be a major improvement everywhere. Please, more silence, less cuteness, and fewer giggles, OK?”

.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:19 PM on November 27, 2007


(What, no man-bear-pig?)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:19 PM on November 27, 2007


The video raises all kinds of questions.
When did the Sasquatch become our national symbol? What are those two humongous green bears doing in Stanley park? Exactly how much money did VanOC spend trying to cross-breed a kermode bear with an orca whale, and what happened to the failed experiments? Does the radioactive glow coming from the whale have something to do with its transgenic metamorphosis?

I also noticed that most of the skyscrapers downtown are colourful and have happy faces, but the new monster towers (Wall Centre, Shangri-La) are dark and gloomy looking. I can't tell if it's a slight on the developers, or if it's telling us to turn a blind eye on the loads of cash they'll be raking in from the olympics.

I, for one, was hoping that Cobbles would be our mascot, a sort of anthropomorphized inukshuk.
posted by FissionChips at 3:20 PM on November 27, 2007


all first-nations inspired

I'm sure that'll make these folks happy.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 3:20 PM on November 27, 2007


I'm super serial.
posted by orthogonality at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2007


joseph, I wonder about that too. Anti-olympic sentiment is fierce in parts of east van and the DTES, judging from posters and graffitti. I expect there will be heavy protests.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:27 PM on November 27, 2007


Springy for the win.
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:31 PM on November 27, 2007


The official mascots of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics were unveiled today. There are three: a sasquatch, a mythical sea-bear, and a thunderbird-bear spirit, all first-nations inspired. Here's the design firm's website. Previous olympic mascots: Beijing 2008, others.

A sea-bear? Not nearly as cool as a water bear.
posted by SBMike at 3:37 PM on November 27, 2007


All I can say is, it beats the hell out of this year's mascots....

Yeah, I know it's actually these guys.
posted by JHarris at 3:49 PM on November 27, 2007


I fondly recall Vucko, the Winter Olympics mascot for Sarajevo in 1984. Every kid I knew in town was involved in the Olympics somehow. I took part in many folkloric dance events and was even in the opening ceremonies (I was 10.) A lot of my friends endeavored to learn English and German and other languages so that we could help tourists - the fact that no one thought about doing this until about a week before didn't hamper anyone's enthusiasm! We were so proud of our beautiful city and we all collected Vucko pins and stickers and buttons and posters, and we all really loved him.

One of the things that made Sarajevans most upset about the war amongst the former Yugoslav republics was based in the huge civic pride we had for our city, which we rightly regarded as "international," and as proof we could point to the successful winter Olympics less than a decade earlier. How could such a world-class city fall prey to such monstrosity? Even today, I become sad when I see little Vucko, and I am reminded of the best days for Sarajevo, which disappeared so soon.

These mascots are really for kids, and from that point of view, they're funny and imaginative and interesting, and I'm sure the kids of Vancouver will have fun collecting them in all their forms and being reminded of their city's big event. For kids of a certain age, they may resonance for the rest of their lives, like Vucko does for me. As an adult, I understand that these are very commercial mascots and I can see why it's very easy to criticize them or to have a very cynical attitude towards them. But they're really not for us, are they?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:55 PM on November 27, 2007 [14 favorites]


I really like them. They remind me of Parappa The Rapper.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:09 PM on November 27, 2007


Ah, Japan, what won't you coat with a goey sheen of kawaii infantalism?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2007


fuck: gooey sheen
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2007


I think they're pretty awesome, although I do think that the mascot costumes aren't as good as the illustrations.

Looks like the comments in the global/canada.com article are fairly negative.
posted by skullbee at 4:24 PM on November 27, 2007


This is what happens when Gorillaz and The Banana Splits mate.
posted by scruss at 4:33 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


The best sports mascot.
posted by maxwelton at 4:52 PM on November 27, 2007


Totally love them.
posted by mdonley at 5:02 PM on November 27, 2007


Fuck YES a sasquatch.
posted by 235w103 at 5:06 PM on November 27, 2007


I think a stuffed animal Quatchi could be a big hit. He's big, he's furry and he's easy to draw. What else could the kids ask for?
posted by Gary at 5:12 PM on November 27, 2007


When did the Sasquatch become our national symbol?

They use imaginary animals for one simple reason: We are slaughtering the REAL ones.

Let's just say it's uncomfortable for government officials to utilize native Orcas, Grizzly bears, or Timber Wolves as "mascots" when they are hardly any left.

Further the organizers of shit like the Olympics — who are MOSTLY developers — wish they wasn't any native wildlife to be reminded of at all. That way they could go about the business of finally paving and processing what scant tufts of grass that manage to cling to life in our natural environment into one big Nerf-coated theme park to sell to morons.
posted by tkchrist at 5:20 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nothing could ever surpass Priapiskos, the tumescent satyr who was mascot for the 482 BCE Olympics.

Oh, man! I loved that little guy! Always snowboarding and building team spirit and deflowering virgins! They just don't make mascots like that any more.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:53 PM on November 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


the snowlets were so awesome.

i would have killed for snowlet stuffed animals. cute little retarded birds.
posted by joeblough at 6:06 PM on November 27, 2007


The canada.com story I linked has changed since I first made this post. They've added pictures of the real-life mascots, and added more details about how the mascots were chosen (such as focus group testing with children). The tone of the article now seems to be deflecting concerns that they are too silly and reminding readers that the mascots are designed to appeal to children.

Also I just noticed this: "Vanoc is striking quickly: starting today a range of plush toys, clothing, pins, and other memorabilia will be stocked in HBC, the department store sponsor."
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:07 PM on November 27, 2007


And they musn't have been able to get the Liger from Napoloean Dynamite due to copyright difficulties.

GODDAMN IT. I am so damn sick of people thinking that dumbass movie made up the concept of a liger. LIGERS ARE REAL. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE DID NOT MAKE THEM UP! Guess what, TIGONS ARE REAL, TOO. But I guess no one knows about them because they weren't in Napoleon Dynamite.
posted by piratebowling at 6:18 PM on November 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Previous" may not be the best word to describe next year's Olympics.
posted by aaronetc at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2007


that occured to me after I made the post.
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:34 PM on November 27, 2007


LIGERS ARE REAL. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE DID NOT MAKE THEM UP!

Amen. When I saw Napoleon Dynamite in the theatre, and everyone started laughing when he drew the liger, I was like, hey, technically that is a real animal. Then again, I read World Book encyclopedias for fun as a kid...
posted by jefbla at 7:00 PM on November 27, 2007


Aw, I was hoping they'd bring back the Ookpik.

(It saddens me to discover there are no images of the toy on the 'net).
posted by aclevername at 7:31 PM on November 27, 2007


Wow these are great. Haven't watched movie or anything, just talking about the still character design. Awesome.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:08 PM on November 27, 2007


They look like a cross between anime and Hello Kitty, or something that you might see in a weird Mario Bros. videogame.

I can't decide if that's a good thing or not ...
posted by krinklyfig at 8:51 PM on November 27, 2007


Oh, man! I loved that little guy!

Greg Nog, that rocks so hard I am speechless.

Now go paint it on an urn.
posted by felix betachat at 8:58 PM on November 27, 2007


brain_drain writes "You sound like a villain in a children's story."

Just to be clear: I was indicting all inter-movement applauders, not the tiny portion of children. Why clap between movements, over the end of one and delaying the next, throwing the orchestra and the singers off their timing until the clapping ends? You can clap at the end of acts!!! But, no, thenyou're in too much of a hurry to get to intermission or your car!

Why drown out music with clapping? You're supposed to be there for the music.and for god's sake, don't cough, much less talk! There's only so many of you I can glare at. (And yes, explaining the virtue of silence to unruly "patrons of the arts" is why I can no longer take dates with me to the theater.)

God, I detest people who make noise.
posted by orthogonality at 9:14 PM on November 27, 2007


Ookpik.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:31 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Here's the design firm's website.

Well, they sure show great... range?
posted by rokusan at 9:43 PM on November 27, 2007


I would have liked this mascot better.
posted by moonbiter at 10:32 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, these are what will destroy the Olympics' credibility and relevance.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:39 PM on November 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Cutesy wanna be anime mascots.

I guess innovative means "Do with the Japanese were doing in 1991..."
posted by Sukiari at 12:26 AM on November 28, 2007


Maybe I need more coffee this morning, but the costume version of Quatchi looks like he's got testicles on his chin
posted by romakimmy at 3:27 AM on November 28, 2007


Forty years of Olympic mascots.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:26 AM on November 28, 2007


If anyone is curious, these little guys were on the front page of pretty much every Vancouver newspaper yesterday, and there were stories today as well. Also, the merchandise has gone on sale - if you go to HBC's website there's a HUGE online display.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:45 AM on November 29, 2007


Some day a plush Quatchi will be mine.
posted by drezdn at 1:30 PM on November 29, 2007


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