Say hello to your official mascots of the 2008 Olympics

If you thought the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers, Voltron or The Planeterers were some incredible teams then you’ll appreciate the collaborative efforts of Fuwa; not to be mistaken with FUPA. In case you didn’t know, Fuwa is a collection of five characters who will be the Official Mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Frankly, we find these guys a little creepy, but we have no sense of culture, so what do we know. Let’s get to know the little critters better.

Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends, Fuwa also embody the natural characteristics of four of China’s most popular animals — the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow — and the Olympic
Flame.

Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name — a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow.

When you put their names together — Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni — they say “Welcome to Beijing,” offering a warm invitation that reflects the mission of Fuwa as young ambassadors for the Olympic Games.

They might be intended to “carry a message of friendship and peace,” but Beibei is standing there with a smile on her face, wearing a hat made of water while Huanhuan is burning to a crisp. That’s just being a straight cold bitch where we come from. We guarantee none of the Top 10 Coolest Olympic Mascots would pull a stunt like that.

Cool Olympic Mascot #10. Howdy and Hidi
The polar bear siblings were the faces of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. With both names expressing a feeling of welcome and brotherhood, they symbolized the warmth of Canadian hospitality.

Cool Olympic Mascot #9. Hodori
Tigers and marketing seem to go hand in hand and the animal was perfect for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. Hodori was designed as good-natured tiger and portrayed the friendly and hospitable traditions of the Koreans.

Cool Olympic Mascot #8. Sam
With the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles in 1984, Walt Disney decided to design a mascot. His creation: Sam, a cartoon eagle who’s not afraid of showing his true colours.

Cool Olympic Mascot #7. Vuchko
Despite looking a bit stubborn, Vuchko was a cheerful wolf who was the face of the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. The mascot helped to change the frightening image of the animal which was present in the region.

Cool Olympic Mascot #6. Waldi
The colourful dachshund was claimed to be the first official Olympic mascot at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich. Along with representing athletic qualities such as resistance, tenacity and agility, Waldi’s colours also symbolized the joy of the international event.

Cool Olympic Mascot #5. Hare, Coyote and Bear
Keeping to the country’s heritage, the trio stood for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics’ motto. The snowshoe hare, coyote and American black bear represented “Citius, Altius Fortius” (Faster, Higher and Stronger).

Cool Olympic Mascot #4. Cobi
For some, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics mascot is. But the trick is to not overanalyze because Cobi is simply a dog in a suit.

Cool Olympic Mascot #3. Ollie, Syd and Millie
Whether it’s the names or the animals, the trio was perfect for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The kookaburra, platypus and echidna symbolized the event, the host city and the new millennium.

Cool Olympic Mascot #2. Schneeman
Some would find it surprising to see one of the first mascots created to be ranked so high, but the snowman is definitely cooler than most. The 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics mascot stood for the “Games of Simplicity”.

Cool Olympic Mascot #1. Izzy
One of the reasons this particular mascot for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics is at the top of the list is because nobody knew what it was. That was the point; “Izzy” was an abstract fantasy figure derived from “What is it?”.

Links:

[Beijing 2008]: The Official Mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
[InventorSpot.com]: The Top 10 Coolest Olympic Mascots

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