The Olympic Games mascot for Rio 2016 has recently been announced, a yet unnamed yellow creature. It is supposed to represent all the animals of Brazil. (There is another one, for the Paralympics, which represents all the plants of Brazil). I can definitely see a cat and monkey in there, though I’m not sure what other animals it incorporates. Blue hands, green tail?
Unlike in recent times, the public was not consulted to choose the mascot, which is a good thing as the general population are not the experts in marketing, and the aim of creating a mascot is clearly stated as being to make lots of money on merchandise! The general population still do have a say – they can help pick the names. There is a shortlist of three choices, Oba and Eba; Tiba Tuque and Esquindim; and Vinicius and Tom. My vote is for Oba and Eda. I have no idea of the meanings of each of the names, Oba and Eda just sound the coolest.
On the official Rio website, you can go and make your own selfie with the mascot (like I did), and also cast your vote for the mascot names.
I’m glad there is just one mascot for the Olympic Games, as it was for London. When I saw that there were five mascots for Beijing in 2004, all I could think of was that they had trouble picking the best one to use. Sydney also struggled to make a decision and had three mascots. Using a single mascot that represents an animal from the host country is what has been traditionally used. You can see our list of previous Olympic Games mascots.
What do you think of the mascot?