(Reuters) – A list of the mascots for the Winter Olympics from 1968-2018:
1968 Grenoble, France
Derived from schuss or schussboom, the alpine skiing term used to define a straight downhill run at high speed, Schuss was the first Olympic mascot, although unofficial, and featured a cartoon wearing blue skis. Unlike today’s mascot, Schuss did not gain massive public recognition and was seen solely on pins and small toys.
Creator: Aline Lafargue
1976 Innsbruck, Austria
Named after the German word for snowman, Schneemann was the first official mascot for the Winter Olympics. The mascot was a snowman wearing a red Tyrolean hat, a traditional hat in the western Austrian region. The snowman was also seen as a lucky charm as the 1964 Games in Innsbruck lacked adequate snowfall but the 1968 Games faced no such problems. Schneemann was also the first commercially successful mascot for the winter Games.
Creator: Walter Poetsch
1980 Lake Placid, U.S.
Roni is the word for “raccoon” in the Iroquoian language of the native people from the region of the State of New York and Lake Placid. The event had a living raccoon named Rocky as a mascot but the animal died shortly before the Games, leading to the creation of Roni, whose name was chosen by Lake Placid school children.
Creator: Don Moss, Capital Sports
1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia)
The mascot for the 1984 Games was created through a widespread contest, won by painter Joze Trobec. Vucko is a wolf, an animal that was prominent in Yugoslav fables and commonly found in the Dinaric Alps region. The mascot was designed to have a friendly expression in an effort to dissociate Vucko from the ferocity of an actual wolf and make him more approachable.
Creator: Joze Trobec
1988 Calgary, Canada
Names: Hidy and Howdy
Two adorable polar bears wearing identical cowboy outfits, Hidy and Howdy were the first dual mascots for the Games. The brother and sister duo were named to represent the region’s well-known hospitality, with Hidy being an extension of “hi” and Howdy named after the Western American greeting. A citizens jury chose the name following a massive contest.
Creator: Sheila Scott, Great Scott Productions
1992 Albertville, France
The mascot for the 1992 games was an imp shaped in the form of a star, which symbolizes dreams and imagination, and wore French colours. Magique was named by the creator after several studies failed to find a name. The innovative creation replaced the original mascot, a mountain goat, two years before the Games began.
Creator: Philippe Mairesse
1994 Lillehammer, Norway
Names: Hakon and Kristin
Hakon and Kristin were the first Games mascots in human form, and represented two happy children – a boy and a girl. The duo wore clothes representing their historical roots but expressed modern viewpoints and were used to raise awareness for several topics, including environmental issues. The Lillehammer Games also had live mascots – eight pairs of Norwegian children that were selected from thousands of candidates. The names are a nod to Norwegian historical figures, Hakon Hakonson and Kristin Sverrisdottir.
Creator: Kari and Werner Grossman, based on an idea by Javier Ramirez Campuzano
1998 Nagano, Japan
Names: The Snowlets
Keeping with the host nation’s uniqueness, the 1998 Games featured four owls named Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki, known as the Snowlets. The owls represented fire, air, earth and water respectively and that specific number of mascots was chosen to allude to the four years in an Olympiad. The snowy creatures replaced the original mascot, a weasel called Snowple. Owls were chosen due to their reputation of being intelligent creatures.
Creator: Landor Associates
2002 Salt Lake City, U.S.
Names: Powder, Coal and Copper
A snowshoe hare named Powder, a coyote named Copper and a black bear named Coal were created with different aspects of the host state, Utah, and the Games in mind. The names represent Utah’s main natural resources while the animals were chosen as their characteristics were in line with the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher, stronger). The creatures also have significance to the legends of American Indians, a fact that is alluded to by each character’s necklace that features a charm with a petroglyph image.
2006 Turin, Italy
Names: Neve and Gliz
The duo were named after the Italian words for snow and ice with Neve deigned to a be a female humanized form of a snowball while Gliz was a male humanized form of an ice cube. The mascots were chosen after an international contest, which was won by Portuguese designer Pedro Albuquerque. Neve represents elegance and harmony while Gliz represents power and strength – qualities that are associated with professional athletes.
Creator: Pedro Albuquerque
2010 Vancouver, Canada
Names: Quatchi and Miga
Inspired and named after creatures from that tales of the First Nations, Canada’s predominant indigenous people, Quatchi is a sasquatch with thick fur, boots and ear muffs while Miga is a sea bear, a mythical combination of a killer whale and a Kermode bear, a type of bear that lives in British Columbia. The pair also have a friend named Mukmuk, an unofficial but popular mascot that was designed after a rare type of marmot that lived in Vancouver.
Creator: Meomi design
2014 Sochi, Russia
Names: The Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard
Following a national and international contest that received over 24,000 drawings in total, the Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard represented the three places on the Olympic podium. The submitted designs were narrowed down to 10 and edited by professionals. The trio were the first to be chosen by popular vote after the Russian public voted in the final phase for the selection of the mascots.
Creators: Silviya Petrova (Hare), Oleg Seredechniy (Polar Bear) and Vadim Pak (Leopard)
2018 Pyeongchang, South Korea
Inspired by Korea’s guardian angel – the white tiger – Soohorang is the latest Winter Games mascot and symbolizes spirit, passion, trust and protection. “Sooho”, the Korean word meaning protection, is meant to symbolize the protect offered to everyone involved with the Games while “Rang” is a mixture of the Korean word for tiger and the name of a traditional folk song in the Gangwon Province, where the Games will be held.
Creator: Not listed
Compiled by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich