Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and Mukmuk
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Miga, Quatchi, and Sumi (who had a sidekick, Mukmuk) were the mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Paralympics. The four mascots were introduced on November 27, 2007. They were designed by the Canadian and American duo, Meomi Design. It was the first time the Olympic and Paralympic mascots were introduced at the same time.
The emblem of 2010 Winter Olympics, "Ilanaaq the Inukshuk", was picked through an open contest. However, it met criticism from some aboriginal groups over its design. So the mascot artist was selected through a competition.
Through the process where 177 professionals around the world were submitted their ideas, five were made final. In December 2006, VANOC eventually selected concepts from Meomi Design. Formed in 2002, Meomi is a group of Vicki Wong, a Vancouver-born Canadian of Chinese descent who worked in graphic and web design, and Michael Murphy, born in Milford, Michigan, who worked in design and motion graphics. Writing for Sports Illustrated, experts Michael Erdmann and John Ryan, while making comments on the mascots of the Olympic Games held in Canada, pointed out that Meomi's character drawing styles "are more closely related to Urban Vinyl [...]".
After the selection, Meomi provided more than 20 different concepts to VANOC, and three concepts were selected. The conception of the mascots were based on the local wildlife, as well as First Nations legends, mythologies and legendary creatures. During the design process, an early name for Quatchi was dismissed when the undisclosed word was found to have a rude connotation in another language. An animated video by Buck, a design studio based in New York and Los Angeles, with music provided by Kid Koala was screened on the first public presentation of the mascots. Details about mascots were kept secret until November 27, 2007 when they were unveiled to the public.
The first public presentation of the mascots took place before 800 schoolchildren at the Bell Centre For Performing Arts in Surrey, British Columbia. This represents the first time that the Olympic and Paralympic mascots were introduced at the same time. The mascots are:
- Miga - A mythical sea bear, part killer whale and part spirit bear living off the coast of Vancouver Island. She loves surfing in the summer, especially in Tofino, and snowboarding in the winter.
- Quatchi - A sasquatch. He comes from the mysterious forests of Canada, wears blue earmuffs, and dreams of being a hockey goalie. He loves to travel and learn about the regional dances and cuisines of every place he visits. He carries his camera around his neck wherever he goes. His name comes from "sasquatch", itself a word coined by J. W. Burns from the Halkomelem word sásq’ets (IPA: [ˈsæsqʼəts]).
- Sumi - An animal guardian spirit with the wings of the Thunderbird and legs of an American black bear who wears a killer whale-like hat in an artistic style of Haida people. He lives in the mountains of British Columbia and is a passionate environmentalist. His name comes from the Salish word "sumesh," meaning "guardian spirit." His favorite sport is alpine skiing in monoski.
- Mukmuk - A Vancouver Island marmot described as "small and friendly", Mukmuk acts as their "sidekick". He has a large appetite. His name comes from the Chinuk Wawa word "muckamuck," meaning "food" or "to eat". As of December 2008 he has joined the other mascots as a stuffed toy.
Miga and Quatchi are mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympics, while Sumi is the mascot for the 2010 Winter Paralympics. Aside of three mascots, Mukmuk is their designated "sidekick". Thus, there are two Olympic mascots and one Paralympic mascot as well as one "sidekick". They made a cameo appearance in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.
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Mukmuk, although a designated "sidekick", was a run-away success, "capturing the hearts of Games-goers everywhere"; including an impromptu "protest" at the Vancouver Art Gallery to make him a full-fledged mascot, and making "Top 5" for the Olympic games in the Vancouver edition of 24 Hours.
Criticism and image confusion
When the mascots were unveiled, there were initial concerns over whether they were effective at representing British Columbia and Canada.
On July 3, 2009, Canadian artist Michael R. Barrick created two composite images – one based on the official art, and the other based on a fan art created by Angela Melick – depicting the official mascots alongside Pedobear, an internet meme popularized by the imageboard 4chan. The images were created to make "a visual critique of how the style of the mascots resembles the style of Pedobear." As a result of the images receiving high rankings on Google Images, this image was mistakenly used by other media. The Polish newspaper Gazeta Olsztyńska used one of the images for a front page story about the then-upcoming Olympics, published on February 4, 2010. Similarly, the Dutch television guide Avrobode used one of the images.
After the games
In compliance with the strict orders of the International Olympic Committee which require that the mascots must not be animated or be worn again so that the raw material cannot be reused, 48 of the 61 life-sized mascot costumes were destroyed. Three full sets of costumes are kept in Canada, one full set has gone to the IOC in Switzerland, and one Sumi costume has gone to the International Paralympic Committee in Germany.
|Wikinews has related news: Mascots announced for 2010 Games|
|Wikinews has related news: BC design club president comments on Olympic mascots; sales brisk|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics.|
- Thunderbird (mythology)
- American black bear
- Bigfoot in popular culture
- Vancouver Island marmot
- Olympic mascots
- Paralympic mascots
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- Official Mascots Merchandise
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Miga, Quatchi and Mukmuk
Fu Niu LeLe
Sumi and Mukmuk