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Today's Big Story

Olympic Mascots Unveiled

How could anyone not love the Games now?

By Rob Annandale 27 Nov 2007 | TheTyee.ca

Rob Annandale is on staff at the Tyee.

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The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) has introduced three mascots, describing the launch as a “significant milestone on the road to staging the 2010 Winter Games.”

The characters, which are expected to generate millions in royalties, are a mish-mash of B.C. wildlife, Aboriginal myths and pop culture. The principal mascots – Quatchi the sasquatch, Miga the sea bear and Sumi the animal spirit – also have a sidekick named Mukmuk, a Vancouver Island marmot.

“The mascots truly represent the people, geography and spirit of British Columbia and Canada, while personifying the essence of the 2010 Winter Games,” VANOC CEO John Furlong said in a statement.

Although the organizers opted for a tribute to Aboriginal culture, First Nations support for the Games has been far from unanimous as demonstrated by calls for an Olympic boycott at last month’s indigenous people’s summit in Mexico.

Olympic marketing has proven a challenge in the past. There were objections that the 2010 Inukshuk logo evoked Canada’s Arctic rather than its West Coast. And there was a massive outcry in London where organizers of the 2012 Summer Games were blasted for their choice of a symbol described by critics as a “broken swastika” or a “toileting monkey” and they ultimately withdrew an animated version of the logo blamed for inducing seizures.

VANOC says it chose Vancouver-based Meomi Design’s proposal after reviewing hundreds of submissions.

Apparently, anti-poverty advocate David Eby’s suggestions, such as Sea-to-Sky Highway Harry the Olympic Beaver or Lying Leo the Olympic Walrus, didn’t make the cut.  [Tyee]

Read more: 2010 Olympics

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