Quatchi’s Predecessors!

Here, Quatchi and Miga share a pin with Howdy and Hidy, mascots from Calgary’s 1988 Winter Olympics.

No doubt Quatchi is the best-ever Olympics mascot — for that matter, best mascot ever — but he obviously isn’t the first. Ever since Schuss debuted for Grenoble’s 1968 winter games, mascots have represented every Olympics thereafter. While they’ve included such figures as a beaver, a platypus, a snowman and a wiener dog, frankly, none of these crap ‘scots were much more inspired than Springy, the Springfield Spring.

In a 1999 episode, The Simpsons‘ hometown was chosen to host the Olympics. Homer enters a contest to come up with a mascot, something along the lines of the “Montreal Vampire.” He creates Abby, the Olympic Tabby (a papier-mâché’d cat), before unveiling the more popular Springy, the Springfield Spring. Springy is chosen as official mascot (beating out Ciggy, Patty & Selma’s cigarette mascot), but Bart’s shenanigans cost Springfield the Olympics. Homer, stuck with a thousand useless springs, vainly tries to sell them off as “Mr. Bouncy Best Friend.” Ultimately, after a fed-up Marge insists he get rid of them, Homer flushes ’em all down the toilet.

Along similar, satirical lines, Spatzel and Snowflake were the mascots for Blades of Glory‘s fictitious World Winter Sports Games. Spatzel goes up in flames, and Snowflake takes an arrow to the head. But, like Quatchi and his friends, they have their own video game.

And now, ladies and germs, your full lineup of Olympic mascots:

Winter Games
1968, Grenoble – Shuss
1976, Innsbruck – snowman
1980, Lake Placid – Roni
1984, Sarajevo – Vuchko
1988, Calgary – Howdy & Hidy
1992, Albertville – Magique
1994, Lillehammer – Haakon & Kristin
1998, Nagano – Sukki, Nokki, Lekki & Tsukki
2002, Salt Lake City – Powder, Copper & Coal
2006, Torino – Neve & Gliz
2010, Vancouver – Quatchi, Miga & Sumi

Summer Games
1972, Munich – Waldi
1976, Montreal – Amik
1980, Moscow – Misha
1984, Los Angeles – Sam
1988, Seoul – Hodori
1992, Barcelona – Cobi
1996, Atlanta – Izzy
2000, Sydney – Olly, Syd & Millie
2004, Athens – Athena & Phevos
2008, Beijing – Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying & Nini

UPDATE

Check out this unofficial bear mascot at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley:

— Steve

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6 responses to “Quatchi’s Predecessors!

  1. Don’t forget Seth Stevenson’s awesome defense of Jingjing and the other Beijing Olympics mascots! Read it here: http://www.slate.com/id/2195872/

  2. Damn right the best mascot ever!! Bo-yeah!!

  3. Shuss is cool. Only Quatchi is cooler than Shuss.

  4. Olympic torch bearer 086

    Wow, the Beijing Olympics link still work. VANOC would better leave the website on eternally. I called them and they said they would close it on Dec. 31st. John Furlong, please leave the website on for ever. Or make sure that every single video and photo can still be seen in the future. For the legacy.

  5. Awesome photo from the ’60 Olympics! Steve: what’s the source of this image?

  6. It’s from Life magazine. Here’s the uncropped version:

    http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/3d23f95c84508c1c_large

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