Quatchi, We Hardly Knew Ye

From this morning’s Vancouver Sun comes Todd Coyne’s depressing article, Mascots Quatchi, Sumi and Miga will never be ‘animated’ again.

I’m just gonna quote the whole sad story…

Fans of the lovable 2010 Olympic mascots Quatchi, Sumi and Miga will be crestfallen to learn that all but a handful of the life-size mascots have been rounded up and destroyed.

Vanoc has confirmed that, under the strict orders of the International Olympic Committee, 48 of the 61 cuddly characters created for the Vancouver Games were destroyed to the extent that there could be no possible reuse of the costumes’ raw materials.

While Vanoc’s vice-president of communications, Renee Smith-Valade, would not relay any of the grisly details of just how the mascots were “retired and disposed of,” when asked whether the mascots from Games past had been incinerated, she said, “I understand that some have been.”

Despite the official silence surrounding their destruction, four complete sets of the mascot trio and one lone Sumi have avoided an early demise and are now being held in official Olympics collections around the world.

According to Smith-Valade, two full sets are being kept locally by the 2010 Legacy Collection, one full set has gone to the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland, and one set went to the Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum in Calgary. The solitary Sumi has gone to the International Paralympic Committee in Germany.

The IOC dictates that any surviving Olympic mascots must never again be “animated,” or worn, after the closing of the Games, according to Gladys Serafino, curator of Calgary’s Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum.

“We’ve had many requests over the years to have them be reanimated and come out for winter carnivals and even for our own 20th anniversary of the Olympics and they said, ‘No, they cannot be reanimated.'”

Serafino would not speculate on the fates met by the majority of Calgary ’88’s twin cattle-roping polar bears, Hidy and Howdy, after that city’s Winter Games.

Like Sumi, Quatchi and Miga, Calgary’s once-thriving population of Hidys and Howdys was culled following the 1988 Games to just four sets. Two of these sets reside behind glass at Calgary’s Olympic museum, one is at the Canmore museum and the other is at the IOC museum in Lausanne.

One ritual that is seemingly unique to Calgary’s mascot farewell was the distribution of a piece of one costume to every Hidy and Howdy “animator” from Calgary’s Bishop Grandin high school, said Serafino.

So much for the “green” Olympics.

Regular readers will notice our posts have slowed down significantly in the past several weeks, but what we said back at Olympics’ end still holds true: this blog will continue as long as interest in Quatchi does, as long as people collect Quatchi memorabilia, create Quatchi arts and crafts, bake Quatchi goods, and so forth.

Quatchi is dead… Long live Quatchi!

— Steve


12 responses to “Quatchi, We Hardly Knew Ye

  1. Awww… that’s too bad, it would have been awesome to see the Mascots at future events.

  2. Olympic torch bearer 086

    That article from the Vancouver Sun is so revolting and the consequence is a huge turn off. I am tempted to say that Vanoc and IOC treated the poor mascots the same way that Hitler treated the Jews (telling the truth is not insulting). Why destroy them instead of putting them all into museums ? Is that too expensive for IOC and VANOC to send them into museums ? Only 3 groups left ? Why ? Did the mascots kill anyone ? I’m sure that if they sell the sets on ebay, they would get more money. (Inner thought: some humans are dumb, obviously)
    I understand that IOC doesn’t want any one to “steal” their copyrights. One thing is sure, by following a retrograde rule, VANOC and IOC didn’t get it as they chose to refuse to listen to us, as they did with Mukmuk issue: about giving life to Mukmuk. There are tons of museums, tons of people working in archives who would die to get those rare beautiful things. Why do you have to destroy beautiful things ?
    I have been part of that event, I’m on the same list as Wayne Gretzky, Catriona LeMay-Doan, Rick Hansen and so on after carrying the torch, the so-called symbol of peace…. Why ? And IOC is serious about archives ? And VANOC serious about environment ? I struggle with the fact that the Games are done, and I know that after London, Sochi and Rio, the mascots will receive the same unfair treatment. Really unfortunate. It makes people feel powerless and unheard. How many people will have the chance to go to Lausanne to see them ?
    Having them not animated is somewhat OK but having them destroyed, NO. Really sad and hopeless. Boycott is tempting, at times….

  3. Olympic torch bearer 086

    And now, how can we keep believing when we see that all that nice work is reduced to nothingness ? The “I believe” song will sound differntly. Do I still believe ?
    Destroying everything (or most of it) is showing that people, who had the chance to choose to build a strong legacy, have a pure lack of vision. They must have read and followed the rules too fast. Now my Olympic torch has such a different taste and I see it so differently. The Olympics are not the same any longer….
    I had the hope to keep carrying the flame and this shows that people purely estinguish it. Now it’s tough to keep the flame burning. The post-Olympics thing is worse than I expected. I was hoping to carry a future about Olympics and now that I realize what the post-Olympics thing is about, it will take a while to put Olympics at the right place in my heart.
    To all who had the chance to be a part of Quatchi, Miga and Sumi, I feel very sad for you. I feel a major part of us (meaning Quatchi fans and volunteers who were in his cstume) has been killed.
    Now that the damage is done, I have a thing to tell to people who will have a wonderful chance of being part of a mascot in London, Sochi and Rio: enjoy while it lasts !!
    And to people like Seb Coe and all the organizers of London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016: by choosing the mascots, and dealing with costumes that will give a life to them, please make sure that you find a decent and convenient place for them to rest in peace with dignity in a museum. There are so many that would be very happy to host such a creature. Please make sure that every single mascot stays somewhat alive after their show time in accordance to the IOC rules.
    thank you.
    Quatchi, Sumi and Miga, thank you for making me happy for a little bit. You deserved a better treatment and if I can be your watchdog at Lausanne of Calgary or wherever you will be, then I will be very happy to be with you again and to stay with you. I love you Quatchi, Miga and Sumi. May you find a place in heaven, you fully deserve it. Your souls were so pure. Hope to see you again soon, no matter where and even if a piece of glass will keep us separated. You will never leave my heart. I promise. Love you all !!

  4. I also found this article absolutely revolting and it saddened me. These mascots brought such joy and happiness to everyone before and during the games. What a totally sad and wasteful ending.

  5. I am a Quatchi fans from Hong Kong. It is so sad that I don’t even have a chance to see the live Mascots.

  6. Michael Miyamoto

    I am a Quatchi fan. After I read this. It just made me sick. and it anger me. Lest face it. It just sucks hard. Its an insuit to canada and to us canadians. To the IOC its just anather mascot. to us Quatchi is way more then that.

    Theres is fans of Quatchi. Not just here in Canada form cost to cost to cost. but all the around the world.

    Quatchi stands for a renewed Canada. Quatchi will live on.

  7. Michael Miyamoto

    Dispited what happen. Quatchi is NOT dead. And yes long live Quatchi.

    • Olympic torch bearer 086

      Yet, only 4 sets out of like 61 mascots still alive….. IOC should create more museums throughout the world. It’s not everyone who can go to Lausanne.

  8. Olympic torch bearer 086

    “The IOC dictates that any surviving Olympic mascots must never again be “animated,” or worn, after the closing of the Games” : Well at the airport, on March 1st, they were animated and worn. So VANOC didn’t respect that so-called law.


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