We know Olympic Games stamps are a popular theme for many stamp collectors and as our parent company, PostBeeld (postbeeld.com), has recently added many stamps on this subject to its stock thought this article about Olympic Games mascots might be of interest to some.
The first Olympic mascot, though not official, was named “Schuss” and was born at the Grenoble Olympic Winter Games in 1968. Representing a little man on skis, half-way between an object and a person, it was the first manifestation of a long line of mascots which continue to this day.
It was not until the 1972 Munich Olympic Games that the first official Olympic mascot was created. Since then, mascots have become the most popular and memorable ambassadors of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. An original image, the supposed purpose of the mascot is to give concrete form to the Olympic spirit, spreading the values highlighted at each edition of the Games; promoting the history and culture of the host city; and giving the event a festive atmosphere.
The Games mascots over the years have all been examples of ingenuity, imagination and artistic creativity. From “Waldi”, the Munich Games dachshund, to “Amik”, the Montreal Games beaver, the first mascots were emblematic animals of the host countries.
In 1992, Barcelona surprised everyone with “Cobi”, a strange avant-garde dog created by the great designer, Javier Mariscal. Cobi was followed by a whole variety of mascots based on people, animals or even mythical and imaginary creatures.
Iraq released this stamp in 1988, featuring “Hodori” the South Korean mascot for the 1988 Olympics and a gun-carrying Saddam Hussein.
The owls Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki, seen on the right of the sheet above, were Japan’s mascots for the Winter Oloympics in 1998.
And from Russia for Sochi 2014, these stamps issued in 2012 depict the leopard, the hare and the bear.
From the dog to the snow leopard, via human-like ice cubes, the mascots lend an element of humour and joy to the Olympic experience. They contribute to the efforts made to offer a warm welcome to athletes and visitors from around the world.
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