Talking Points: Olympic and Paralympic Mascots

A collection of imagery and sources designed to introduce pupils to Olympic and Paralympic mascots.

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The Olympic mascots are fictional characters, usually an animal native to the area or human figures, who represent the cultural heritage of the place where the Olympic and Paralympic Games are taking place. Ever since the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the Olympic Games have always had a mascot. – Wiki

Explore mascots through the ages on the official Olympics website.

Find 3D models of Olympic and Paralympic mascots here.

Paris 2024: Olympic Phryge

The name of the Paris 2024 mascot is Olympic Phryge, based on the traditional small Phrygian hats that the mascots are shaped after. The name and design were chosen as symbols of freedom and to represent allegorical figures of the French republic. 

The Olympic Phryge takes the shape and form of a Phrygian cap. As Paris 2024’s vision is to demonstrate that sport can change lives, the mascots will be playing a major role by leading a revolution through sport. The Olympic Phryge is decked out in blue, white and red – the colours of France’s famed tricolor flag – with the golden Paris 2024 logo emblazoned across its chest. – IOC

Questions to Ask Children

Why did the Paris Design Team choose a hat as their mascot?

What kind of personality do you think this mascot might have?

What do you like or dislike about the mascot? Why?

London 2012: Wenlock

Created by Iris Design agency. According to the story by Michael Morpurgo, Wenlock’s metallic look is explained by the fact that he was made from one of the last drops of steel used to build the Olympic Stadium in London.

The light on his head is based on those found on London’s famous black cabs. The shape of his forehead is identical to that of the Olympic Stadium roof. His eye is the lens of a camera, filming everything he sees. On his wrists, he wears five bracelets in the colours of the Olympic rings. And the three points on his head represent the three places on the podium for the medal winners. – IOC

Questions to Ask Children

What kind of personality do you think this mascot might have?

What do you like or dislike about the mascot? Why?

The mascot was designed to capture the spirit of London (vibrant, diverse, busy etc), how it could be adapted to reflect your local area?

Rio 2016: Vinicius and Tom

Designed by Birdo Produções, Vinicius is a mix of different Brazilian animals. His design takes inspiration from pop culture, as well as video game and animation characters. Alongside his Paralympic Games colleague, Vinicius represents the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature. – IOC

Questions to Ask Children

Describe the different features you can see in the mascots.

Why do you think Brazil chose to create an mascots based on nature?

What kind of personality do you think the mascot(s) might have?

What do you like or dislike about the mascot(s)? Why?

Brazil is home to the biggest rainforest and most famous carnival in the world. Do you think the mascots reflect Rio? Why?

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