Friday, February 17, 2006

I Actually like the Olympics

To heck with the stupid mascots (see previous posts)-- there are some great parts about the Olympics- not the least of which is the IOC's letting the snowboard and "punk" cultures add to the sport. Short-track speedskating was a breath of freh air in Utah four years ago.

The halfpipe is Ok, but Snowboard Cross is simply awesome. Like NASCAR (in a good way) on snow, (actually, the Olympic site describes a "Formula One" atmosphere) with actual athletic prowess combined with the jostling for position-- and no mamby-pamby "artistic merit" points!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Spreading the Fear; Olympic Mascots, Part II

To be fair, I have also lined up mascots from Summer Olympics past--
lined them up, that is, in fron tof my own one-man firing squad

1968, Mexico City, "The Dove of Peace" (unofficial).

The "black power salute" was also unoffical, I believe

1972, Munich, "Waldi the Dachsund"

When I think "athletic achievement," I think "short, stubby legs" When I think "Olga Korbut," I think "Dachsund"

1976, Montreal, "Amik the Beaver"

At least the dachsund had legs. This could be an eggplant with a tail.

1980, Moscow, "Misha the Bear"

How could anyone boycott that adorable face?

Also, "Vigri," the Baby Seal, represented yachting events in Tallinn
-- yacht--club--baby seal; I see the connection

1984, Los Angeles, "Sam the Eagle"--

Mr. Ueberroth, there's a Mr. Henson on the line for you, says it's urgent. Something about copyright infringement?

1988, Seoul, "Hodori and Hosuni," the Tiger Cubs

They're Grrrrrrrreat!

1992, Barcelona, "Cobi," a mountain sheep dog with human shape

See, with the eyes on both side of its face, I thought it was a flounder.

1996, Atlanta, "Izzy," (The original name was Whatizit)

I've got nothing. It's at once too easy and too difficult to make fun of this. I weep for my country

2000, Sydney, "Syd," the Platypus; "Millie," the Echidna; "Olly," the Kookaburra

Don the Dingo and Winston the Wallaby were apparently dejected at being passed over

2004, Athens, "Athena" and "Phevos," two children of modern times, brother and sister

Because historical characters bear no meaning for an Olympics held in Athens

2008, Beijing, "Friendlies":"Beibei" the Fish, "Jingjing" the Panda, "Huanhuan" the Olympic Flame, "Yingying" the Tibetan Antelope, "Nini" the Swallow

Catch 'em all! These cute little figures are what pop up if you type "democracy" into Google China

Spreading the Hate: Olympics Mascots, Part I

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, maybe it's just a Boston thing, but I hate Olympics mascots. Always have, always will. Torino 2006 is especially hateful, so I thought I would take a trip down memory lane (mind the potholes), and review Winter Olympics Mascots past....

2006, Torino, "Neve" and "Gliz": Two marshmallows?!? Ok, they are supposed to be "Snow and Ice," but I still think the slogan should be "Give me s'more medals."

Ciao yerself

2002, Salt Lake City, "Powder" the Hare; "Copper" the Coyote; "Coal" the Bear

Also known as Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Wolf and Br'er Bear.

1998, Nagano: "Snowlets." I think those are supposed to be owls. Owls eat mice-- that's it. Oh, and they're wise. These aren't even snow owls!

Was Baatz-Maru busy? He would have been a kickin' logo for Japanese games! And he's a penguin!

1994, Lillehammer, "Haakon" and "Kristin", Norwegian child folk characters.

Does this mean they are not original characters?

They only had 2 years to come up with these instead of the usual 4, so I guess this is the best they could do.

1992, Albertville, "Magique", animated Savoyard Star.

Looks like a cross between a rogue Jack-in-the-Box and an origami project gone awry.

1988, Calgary, "Hidy" and "Howdy" the Welcome Polar Bears.

This from the country that gave us hockey goons.
Let's give them Timothy Treadwell's scent and see if their expressions change to something less cute.

1984, Sarajevo, "Vucko the Wolf"

Actually, he's got a Bode Miller thing going there

1980, Lake Placid, "Roni the Racoon."

What best represents the USA? I know, an oversized rodent that roots through trash cans and carries rabies!

1976, Innsbruck: "Schneemandl". That means "snowman" but would be a great name for horror movie.

Beware the Schneemandl!!!

1968, Grenoble, "Shuss"

Shuss yourself.

Part II will cover the summer Olympics. The horror, the horror...

(Thanks to for the refernce guide)