|Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 2:40pm PST |
|Athena and Phevos - Athens 2004
Siblings Athena and Phevos were loosely based upon an archaic Greek terra cotta daidala from the 7th century BC.
Fuwa - Beijing 2008
The latest Olympic mascots are of course those from Beijing’s recent games – the Olympics that for us will always be remembered for Herzog & de Meuron’s spectacular ‘bird’s nest’ stadium. The Fuwa (literally meaning ‘good-luck dolls’), continued on from ‘Olly, Syd and Millie’ and ‘Athena and Phevos’ before them, in that they didn’t come alone – as previous Olympic mascots had done. The group of five – Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini – each had a rhyming two-syllable name, a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China.
The first syllable of each of their names – Beibei the Fish, Jingjing the Panda, Huanhuan the Olympic Flame, Yingying the Tibetan Antelope and Nini the Swallow – even came together to form a sentence, ‘Beijing huanying ni’ which means ‘Beijing welcomes you’…. demonstrating that the Olympic mascots had become more than just a symbol of the games, but an expression of a nation, its values and how it wanted to be seen by the rest of the watching world.
Wenlock and Mandeville - London 2012
So, what of our own shiny, little drips of metal? Upon meeting the Olympic mascots of the last 40-odd years they seem decidedly more normal… you can see the designer’s thoughts – primarily in that during the games themselves, the mascots are used across so many mediums, and more so in today’s age…. Wenlock and Mandeville – like the controversial logo before them – will be used across television, online video, social media platforms (they, of course, already have their own Twitter accounts and Facebook pages) and most vitally – the lucrative merchandise market. Wenlock and Mandeville are hi-tech Olympic mascots!
Edited by author Wed Jul 25, '12 2:42pm PST
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