Yesterday the Olympic mascots for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics were introduced to the world, and the reaction was somewhat mixed. Some thought the mascots were bizarre, while others thought they were great.
All I know is this: The Vancouver mascots are nowhere near the worst Olympic mascots to ever preside over the Games. And don't worry, Izzy the Whatizit from Atlanta 1996 isn't even the worst mascot ever, either. No, there were two mascots much worse than Izzy.
So anyway, let's start by counting backwards.
7. The 1998 Nagano Snow Owls
As bad as the Snow Owls are, there was actually a worse mascot before them. The original mascot designed for the Games was a weasel named Snowple, which was rejected by the Japanese public. My guess is Snowple's rejection came right before the Games started, which is why the Owls were subsequently drawn by a 3-year-old in approximately 5 minutes.
6. The 1976 Montreal beaver Amik
Amik was frequently mistaken for a turd on the side of the road.
5. The 1972 Munich dachshund Waldi
Naturally when you have the Olympics in Germany, you make the mascot a hyperactive, ultra-alert, multi-colored weiner dog.
4. The 1992 Albertville snow imp Magique
Has the dubious distinction of being the wussiest of all Olympic mascots despite resembling a ninja star. Also was a second choice after a first mascot was deemed too unpopular. How anything could be less popular than this mascot is beyond me.
3. The 1996 Atlanta Whatizit, a.k.a. Izzy
Izzy is frequently regarded as the worst mascot in Olympic history. That could be because he resembles a brightly colored sperm with shoes on, or it could be because he is a brightly colored sperm with shoes on. But believe it or not, Izzy wasn't even the first sperm inspired mascot. No, that achievement went to...
2. The 1968 Grenoble mascot Schuss
Schuss, over time, has become known as "The Skiing Sperm" and you can certainly understand why. What's remarkable about Schuss is that the French didn't really try hard to hide it. At least Izzy had hands and feet.
And last but not least, the worst mascot ever was...
1. The 1996 Atlanta Paralympics phoenix Blaze
Just a ridiculous mascot. And we have a picture of Blaze below, and yes, that's actually him.
Watch that hand Blaze, you're getting a bit too close for comfort.