What the 2010 Olympic mascots really mean

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 3, 2010 4:52 pm

If you haven’t noticed, the furry mascots of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver are undeniably cute. In fact, they may be the cutest mascots we’ve ever seen at a Games.

We’ll admit, we were a little confused when we learned that Mukmuk–the furry bear-shaped creature dressed in official 2010 Olympic garb was in fact not a ‘mascot’ but an honorary member of the Vancouver Games’ mascot ‘team.’ The little brown ‘marmot’ is for sale at every Olympic gear store, so his non-inclusion came as a bit of a surprise.

Turns out Mukmuk is also deemed to be a friend and ‘sidekick,’ not to mention the official mascots’ number-one fan. That’s nice! Everyone can use one, though the news was, well, news to us and just about everyone else.

Here’s the skinny on the REAL warm and fuzzies, if you’re shopping for 2010 souvenirs on e-Bay:

Let’s start with Miga–who sort of looks like a Panda bear with a Little Rascals-esque cowlick. Petite and happy, Miga is actually a ‘sea bear’ inspired by the ancient legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations. Miga is also part Spirit Bear, a rare white bear found in BC, and she loooovvves to snowboard.

Then there’s Sumi, who also looks sort of bear-like but who is actually an animal spirit who sports an orca whale hat and can fly (with wings, according to the host country, of the ‘mighty thunderbird’). Sumi also has furry legs like those of a black bear. His name comes from the Salish word ‘sumesh,’ which means ‘Guardian Spirit,’ and the little ‘official’ mascot loves the environment and is also said to be a fan of all Paralympic events.

Finally, there is Quatchi–the furry Sasquatch hockey fan, much loved by all. Perhaps the most ubiquitous of the mascots, Quatchi is versatile, too–found in doll form at the stores, on blankets, caps, tees–even in life-size, full-on walking extravaganza. Extrememly furry and extremely cute, Quatchi is said to be shy like his namesake–who is also a regular star in local Aboriginal legends of the Pacific West Coast. Quatchi also sports blue ear muffs–which aren’t just in any shade of blue. Nope–they’re in the same ‘chill blue’ worn by 2010 Olympic officials and volunteers.

Much like the vibrant, cheerful Games that have just closed, the mascots will surely be remembered–for their cool, legend-based origins and let’s face it, their freakin’ overall, off-the-charts cuteness.