First Appearance: 1972 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Munich, Germany
Fun Fact: A popular breed of dog in Germany, Daschshunds are one of the country's many symbols, making this dog a no-brainer for the Munich Games. Also worth noting is that Waldi is the first official mascot of the Olympics and represents the desired traits of an athlete: resistance, tenacity and agility.
First Appearance: 1976 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Innsbruck, Austria
Fun Fact: Schneemann goes down in history as the first official Winter Olympic mascot and represents simplicity in the games -- which makes sense since it's a mascot made of three balls of snow, two lumps of coal, one carrot and a hat. And no, there's probably no family relationship to Frosty the Snowman.
First Appearance: 1976 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Montreal, Canada
Fun Fact: 1976 marked Canada's first time hosting the Summer Olympics and so it only made sense to select the country's national animal as the game's mascot.
First Appearance: 1980 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Lake Placid, USA
Fun Fact: As far as Olympic mascots go, Roni would have to be a silver medalist. Why? Well, poor Roni wasn't the first choice for a mascot during the 1980 Winter Games. The original plan was to use Rocky, an actual live raccoon as a representative of the Games but Rocky died before the games began. Instead, graphic designer Donald Moss drew up Roni who is named after Lake Placid's Adirondack Mountains.
First Appearance: 1980 Summer Games
Debuted In: Moscow, Russia
Fun Fact: Misha's full name is actually Mikhail Potapych Toptygin and was created by Victor Chizhikov, a children's book illustrator. The bear was also the national symbol of the now defunct Soviet Union.
First Appearance: 1984 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Fun Fact: A wolf may seem like a strange choice for a mascot but given the fact that the alternatives were a snowball, a mountain goat, a chipmunk, a lamb, or a porcupine, a wolf probably seemed like the best of the bunch. Vucko was also a symbol of human's desire to befriend animals.
First Appearance: 1984 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Los Angeles, USA
Fun Fact: Ah yes, mascots don't get any more American than a giant Eagle. Sam also shares a common bond with famous animals such as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse because all three were designed by Walt Disney.
First Appearance: 1988 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Calgary, Canada
Fun Fact: Hidy and Howdy are the first to break the tradition of single mascots by introducing the Olympics to a a brother-sister duo. They got their name in a contest sponsored by the Calgary Zoo which saw 7,000 submissions. They're also symbols of Western Canada's hospitality.
First Appearance: 1988 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Seoul, Korea
Fun Fact: Much like the Winter Games, the 1988 Summer Olympics featured two mascots, Hodori And Hosuni. Both were tiger cubs but Hodori was the more liked of the two. The tigers were selected due to their heavy prominence in many Korean legends.
First Appearance: 1992 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Albertville, France
Fun Fact: Snow imps are a thing?
First Appearance: 1992 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Barcelona, Spain
Fun Fact: After decades of soft, cuddly mascots, it was time for a change. Enter Cobi, the first official Olympic mascot designed in a cubist art style. The style was inspired by Picasso's interpretation of a masterpiece from Velázquez, Las Meninas. The change in art must have paid off because by the time the '92 Summer games were done, Cobi appeared in three ad sponsorships, on numerous souvenirs and even had his own TV show.
First Appearance: 1994 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Lillehammer, Norway
Fun Fact: Håkon And Kristin were the first official human (read: non-animal/ magical/mystical) mascots.
First Appearance: 1996 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Atlanta, USA
Fun Fact: If Håkon And Kristin were the first human mascots, then Izzy gets the award for the first... abstract mascot. Actually, Izzy is the first computer generated mascot to represent the host country -- a far cry from what CGI can do today-- but Izzy could shape shift and was the biggest departure from previous Olympic mascots. However, Izzy was poorly received, leading it to earn nicknames like "The Sperm In Sneakers" from many critics.
First Appearance: 1998 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Nagano, Japan
Fun Fact: Better know as The Snowlets, Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukk are four owls designed to represent Japan's four primary islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Also, if you combine the first syllable of each owl then you get the word "Snowlets".
First Appearance: 2000 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Sydney, Australia
Fun Fact: Unless you're from Australia, there's a good chance you won't recognize most of these critters. That's because they're all native to the island continent. Syd, the platypus is short for "Sydney", while Olly, the Kookaburra, is short for "Olympic" and Millie, the Echidna, is short for "millennium".
First Appearance: 2002 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Salt Lake City, USA
Fun Fact: They may look like a trio of cute, cuddly animals but Power, the snowshoe hare, Coal, the American black bear, and Copper, the coyote, all share a great deal of symbolism. For one, all three animals are native to the state of Utah. Secondly, each critter is a major character in the legends of local American Indians. Finally, each is named after a natural resource that is key to the State's economy.
First Appearance: 2004 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Athens, Greece
Fun Fact: They may not look like it, but these two mascots are actually based off of children. Designed to bridge the gap between Ancient Greece and the modern era, the two were modeled after traditional Greek dolls but modified to represent children in this day and age. Further adding to the duo's ancient roots are their names: Athena is named after the goddess of wisdom and Phevos, a play of Apollo, the god of light and music.
First Appearance:2006 Winter Olympics
Debuted In: Turin, Italy
Fun Fact: They may look like Gumby rip offs, but Neve and Gliz are actually the official mascot for Turin when it hosted the Winter Games. Neve was designed to reflect a human snowball, while Gliz is a human ice cube.
First Appearance: 2008 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: Beijing, China
Fun Fact: And the winner for the largest posse of mascots goes to the Fuwa! Fuwa roughly translates to 'good luck dolls' which explains their cute, miniature design and each comes with their own name and meaning. Starting from the left, there's Beibei, The Fish; Jingjing, the Giant Panda; Huanhuan, the Olympic Flame; Yingying, the Tibetan Antelope and Nini, The Swallow. Each doll was designed to take on a colour of the Olympic rings while also representing a key Feng Shui element.
First Appearance: 2010 Winter Olympics
Debuted In:Vancouver, Canada
Fun Fact: The mascots for the 2010 Winter Games were inispired by a mix of Aboriginal folklore and Canadian culture. There's Quatchi, the sasquatch, a lover of hockey and dreams of becoming a world-famous goalie (the Toronto Maple Leafs could probably benefit from a guy like him in net). Then there's Miga, part killer whale, part Kermode spirit bear, but 100% devoted to snowboarding. Finally, there's Sumi, a smorgasbord of animals: an animal-guardian spirt who wears the hat of the orca whale, uses the wings of the mighty Thunderbird and runs with the legs of the black bear.
First Appearance: 2012 Summer Olympics
Debuted In: London, England
Fun Fact: Wenlock isn't just any drop of steel. It's a drop of steel with a camera for an eye. The mascot gets its name by Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England -- the location of the first Olympian Games in 1850, organized by the Wenlock Olympian Society.