Talk about luck! Sweet, fun, jolly, dynamic… Every time the Games come around, people can’t wait to see what the new mascot – or mascots! – will be like. Their function is simple, but crucial: mascots act as hosts, welcoming athletes and visitors alike. They embody universal Olympic values. But they also introduce a local touch.
The very first mascot was launched as an experiment in 1968. This was Shuss, at Grenoble Olympics in 1968.
But the first official mascot in Olympic history was born in Munich in 1972: Waldi, the Dachshund dog.
Ever since, with every new Olympiad ordinary people and famous design agencies compete to come up with the ideal new mascot. And the results are as various as the host countries themselves. Often emblematic animals are chosen, sometimes humans or creatures of legend. But always that special touch of humour injects a cheerful note to the Olympic experience.