2010 Mascots: Hello Kitty meets the Great Outdoors

Interesting development from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Committee this week. They just launched their Games mascots — who are named Quatchi, Miga and Sumi.

Miga is a snowboarding sea bear apparently inspired by the legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations – tales of orca whales that transform into bears when they arrive on land.

Quatchi, a shy and gentle sasquatch (the mythical “big foot” creature that lives in the British Columbia forests) dreams of becoming a world-famous goalie.

Aned Sumi is an animal spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty thunderbird and runs on the furry legs of the black bear. We’re told that Sumi is passionate about the environment.

I’m a fan of these three. The characters are smarter than the cookie-cutter and often hoakey mascots that tend to make an appearance at these kind of events.

I’m particularly compelled by Quatchi — the spiritual forest creature with a penchant for hockey. But really, I like them all.

All three characters were designed by the Vancouver-based company Meomi Design — and were inspired by local Aboriginal mythological creatures.

Then there’s this little twist from the Olympics organizers:

“Joining the three mascots is a friend, or ‘sidekick,’ by the name of Mukmuk. Mukmuk is a rare marmot unique to the mountains of Vancouver Island. While he’s not officially a mascot, Mukmuk is considered an honourary member of the team and enjoys surprising his friends by popping up on occasion to share in the spirit and fun of the Games. Mukmuk’s name comes from the Squamish word for food (‘muckamuck’) because he loves to eat – when he’s not playing with his mascot friends.”

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