Warm, fuzzy mascots popular choice 

Ideas from around the world for Olympic mascot

By Clare Ogilvie

Will it be the kermode bear, the grizzly, an orca, or the masked bandit raccoon?

All were ideas suggested by B.C. residents over the last five weeks during the search for a mascot for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

While most suggestions were for local animals not all the suggestions were cuddly. One daily newspaper reader suggested the 2010 Games organizing committee adopt an ATM machine as the mascot since it “keeps asking for money.”

But for the most part the 1,900 visitors to vancouver2010.com who gave their two cents worth had positive ideas.

All the public feedback on the mascot program will be provided to the designers as input on the selection of a mascot.

This week marks the end of the submission phase of the mascot search. In all, more than 150 ideas were put forward by Canadians, with 72 coming from B.C., 48 from Ontario and 30 from the rest of the country.

Another 27 came from Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

“The 2010 Winter Games mascot(s) will be recognized worldwide as a symbol of our Games and our country,” said Dave Cobb, VANOC’s executive vice president, revenue, marketing and communications.

“We’re pleased to have captured the imagination of the design community. Whatever form the mascot(s) takes we are looking for something that will represent Vancouver 2010 values and we look forward to an open and highly creative design process over the coming months.”

The submissions will all be reviewed in the next months. Then a shortlist will be set up with the final designer announced publicly early next year.

The mascot will be featured in hundreds of Games communications and material, from advertising and publications to websites and merchandise.

The mascot will also act as “real-life” ambassador for the Games appearing in animated films and at various events around the country and during the Games.

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