It’s Olympic season, which means only one thing: people dressed up in funny outfits. And that’s not referring to the athletes themselves. Ever since the first official mascot was unveiled in 1972 (‘Waldi’ the dachshund for the Munich Olympics in Germany), mascots have become a fundamental part of the Olympics; a crowd-pandering means to celebrate the hosting nation’s rich, historically-based sense of tradition, as well that of the Olympic games themselves. While that all sounds properly-motivated, sometimes the products of such overbearing enthusiasm aren’t quite as pleasant as the sentiment. And thus, here are ten of the craziest Olympic mascots to date.
Schneeman the Snowman
When Innsbruck, Austria hosted the 1976 winter Olympics, they needed a mascot that best represented their country as well as the chilly-season games, so they went with a stubby sort of snowman – who wears a Tyrolean, cowboy-looking hat – named Schneeman. He is, after all, supposed to represent what was referred to as the ‘Games of Simplicity.’ While Scheenman may indeed be categorically a snowman, he looks a lot more like one of the M&Ms mascots, with his torso-head hybrid and molded shoes/gloves where twigs and a large ball of snow should be.