by Chris Bodenner
Readers keep the thread going:
Hopefully I'm not the only one suggesting that you missed perhaps the most famous Olympic mascot: Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat. As befits the Australian sense of humour, Fatso was far more popular nationwide than the more official mascots. From his Wiki page: "During the Olympics, the Australian Olympic Committee attempted to ban athletes appearing with Fatso to stop him upstaging their official mascots. The ensuing public relations disaster forced the president of the AOC, John Coates, and the director general of the IOC, Francois Carrard, to distance their organisations from these attempts."
The above photo of Fatso is from Tim Lucas. Another reader:
Of course, the Olympics aren’t the only international sporting event with a mascot. The mascot of the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, BC, was an orca (killer whale), named Klee Wyck (the Laughing One, in the language of the Ucluelet First Nation). Pictures were produced of Klee Wyck engaging in each of the games’ events, including shooting, resulting in the incongruous image of a whale – usually used a symbol of all that is good and green – brandishing a rifle.
In your discussion of Olympic mascots, certainly someone must have already mentioned Springy, created by Homer in an attempt to lure the Olympics to Springfield:
Another circles back to the London mascots:
Hilariously, you can buy a policeman Wenlock toy. This figurine, which is sold out, is my favorite, especially because of the first product review:
I bought this toy last week and although it arrived quickly and it seems to be well made, I have some concerns. Every fifteen minute since I've opened it out of the packaging, it will shout phrases such as 'I AM THE EYE OF PROVIDENCE', 'PAX ROMANA' and 'THE SECRET IS WITHIN THE GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA'.
I cannot find the source of the sound on the toy (speaker, etc) and I cannot find a battery compartment either. It's beginning to worry me very much as my dog will do nothing apart from stare at it incessantly for hours on end until he collapses from exhaustion. When he wakes up, he will continue to stare again. He is unresponsive to anything and he is becoming extremely emaciated.
I really want a toy that actually yells "PAX ROMANA!" at my friends, but that's neither here nor there.
Saw your post on the London Olympic mascots. When they were first publicised in 2010, I remember noting a striking parallel, and one which I'm surprised hasn't been generally noted. The mascots were announced at almost exactly the time we in Britain got our current coalition government, which is Conservative (blue motif) and Liberal Democrat (orange motif). The mascots are each of these colours. In fact, the streamer design on the chest of the orange mascot is very similar to the Liberal Democrat bird logo.
Furthermore, there was an image that was released near that time which was a digital combination of Prime Minister David Cameron (conservative) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (liberal democrat). This image illustrated how interchangeable the two men are, and few people shown the picture on the street could tell that it was a combination of the two. Similarly, the mascots are largely identical save for the colour scheme.
Thus I always expected them to be commonly known as 'Dave' and 'Nick'. Sadly, the idea never took off. But it would have been fitting, for the parallels run beyond the colour scheme: the mascots are also shapeless and insipid, stand for nothing in particular, but do look shiny and new. Which just about sums up Cameron and Clegg.