A look back at Olympic mascots through the years

A look back at Olympic mascots through the years
Posted at 12:24 AM, Feb 17, 2022

Bing Dwen Dwen, the official mascot of the 2022 Winter Olympics, has been one of the more popular Olympic mascots in recent memory, with people lining the streets to purchase their own version of the friendly panda.

Here's a look back at all of the Olympic mascots since they were introduced in 1968.

1968 Winter Olympics: Shuss

Shuss, a little man on skis, was created in a hurry ahead of the 1968 Games in Grenoble. His designer had just one night to prepare a plan for submission.

Shuss 1968

1972 Summer Olympics: Waldi

This daschshund was shaped like the Olympic marathon route in 1972 in Munich. 

1972 mascot
Photo by Armin Weigel/picture alliance via Getty Images

1976 Winter Olympics: Schneemandl

The official mascot for the second Winter Olympics was a snowman that wore a Tyrolean hat from the Innsbruck region of Austria.

1976 Winter Mascot

1976 Summer Olympics: Amik

Amik, a beaver, was chosen after a national competition in Canada ahead of the Montreal Games.

1976 summer mascot

1980 Winter Olympics: Roni

Lake Placid school children chose Roni, which means "racoon" in Iroquoian, the langauge of the Indigenous people from the state of New York. 

1980 winter olympics mascot

1980 Summer Olympics: Misha

Misha is a bear, an animal that appears in many popular stories, songs and poems in Russia.

1980 summer olympics mascot
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

1984 Winter Olympics: Vučko 

Wolves are typically found in Sarajevo, the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics, hence the mascot Vučko.

1984 Winter Olympics mascot
Photo by Nedim Grabovica/Xinhua via Getty Images

1984 Summer Olympics: Sam

The 1984 Olympics, held in Los Angeles, featured a friendly and cheerful eagle mascot named Sam.

1984 Summer Olympics mascot
Tony Duffy/Getty Images

1988 Winter Olympics: Hidy and Howdy

These two polar bears that were at the Calgary Olympics were intended to represent the region's hospitality and greetings.

1988 Winter Olympics mascot
Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

1988 Summer Olympics: Hodori

The tiger, the mascot for the Seoul Summer Games, was named "Hodori." The animal frequently appears in Korean popular art and legends.

1988 summer olympics mascot
David Cannon/Contributor to Getty Images

1992 Winter Olympics: Magique

Magique was the first mascot that was not an animal since 1976. The star-shaped mascot symbolized dreams and imagination at the Albertville Olympics.

1992 winter olympics mascot

1992 Summer Olympics: Cobi

Cobi, a human Pyrenean mountain dog, was a refernece to COOB'92, the abbreviation for the Barcelona '92 Olympic Organizing Committee.

1992 summer olympics mascot
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1994 Winter Olympics: Haakon and Kristin

Haakon and Kristin, the mascots for the 1994 Lillehammer Games, were references to historical figures from the 13th century.

1994 Winter Olympics mascot

1996 Summer Olympics: Izzy

The mascot for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta was Izzy -- an unusual mascot because he wasn't an animal, human or object.

1996 summer olympics mascot

1998 Winter Olympics: Sukki, Nooki, Lekki and Tsukki

The four snowy owls were mascots at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.

1998 Winter Olympics Mascot

2000 Summer Olympics: Syd, Olly and Millie

The Sydney Olympics featured Syd, a duck-billed platypus, Olly, a kookaburra and Millie, an echidna or spiny anteater.

2000 Summer Olympics mascot

2002 Winter Olympics: Powder, Coal and Copper

In Utah, the snowshoe hare, coyote and black bear were an homage to Utah's snow, natural resources and land.

2002 Winter Olympics mascot

2004 Summer Olympics: Phevos and Athena

Aptly named for the Athens Olympics, "Phevos" is another name for Apollo -- the god of light and music -- while "Athena" is the goddess of wisdom.

2004 Summer Olympics mascot

2006 Winter Olympics: Neve and Gliz

For the Olympics in Turin, "Neve" means snow and "Gliz" is a reference to the word "ghiaccio," which means ice in Italian.

2006 Winter Olympics mascot

2008 Summer Olympics: Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, Nini

At the first Olympics in Beijing, each of the mascots' names rhymed by repeating the same syllable.

2008 Summer Olympics mascot
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

2010 Winter Olympics: Quatchi and Miga

The Vancouver Games mascots were inspired by fauna and tales of the First Nations on Canada's West Coast.

2010 Winter Olympics mascots
Andreas Pranter/GEPA via USA TODAY Sports

2012 Summer Olympics: Wenlock

Wenlock's appearance came from one of the last drops of steel used to build London's Olympic Stadium.

2012 Summer Olympics mascot
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Winter Olympics: The Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard

The mascots for the Sochi Games were a reference to the three places on the Olympic podium.

2014 Winter Olympics mascots
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Summer Olympics: Vinicius

Vinicius paid tribute to Brazilian poet and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes at the Rio Olympics.

2016 Summer Olympics mascot
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

2018 Winter Olympics: Soohorang

The white tiger, South Korea's guardian animal, stood guard over the Olympics at PyeongChang. 

2018 Winter Olympics mascot
Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports

2020 Summer Olympics: Miraitowa

Miraitowa's name comes from the Japanese words "mirai," which means future and "towa," which means eternity. 

2020 Summer Olympics mascot
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Winter Olympics: Bing Dwen Dwen

The current mascot, Bing Dwen Dwen, is a panda that symbolizes purity, strength and children.

Bing Dwen Den
Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports