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【Paralympics】 List of Past Paralympic Mascots ‐ Which Is Your Favorite?

The Rio Paralympic mascot made an appearance on the podium. Medalists were given mascot dolls with hair the color of their respective medals.

The cute and approachable Olympic and Paralympic mascots help build momentum and promote the quadrennial Games. The 2020 Tokyo mascots will most likely be seen in a variety of places—in and around the city, stadiums, merchandise stores and event venues.

Many Olympic and Paralympic mascots are modeled after native animals of the host region or characters that symbolize the region's culture and heritage. Let us take a look at some of the past mascots.

The first Olympic mascot was for the 1968 Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France. This mascot, named Schuss, was a small, round-headed skier featuring the colors of the French flag. It was not an official mascot, but became the very first mascot in a line of many more. The first "official" mascot was for the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, West Germany (now Germany).

The Paralympic mascot started at the 1980 Arnhem Games

Mascots are turned into dolls and other merchandise

The first Paralympic mascot came about 37 years ago for the sixth Paralympic Games held in 1980 in Arnhem, Netherlands. AVRO, a Dutch broadcasting company, held a public competition, and the winning design was a pair of squirrels designed by Dutch native Necky Oprinsen. The mascot for the 1984 Paralympic Games, held in both Aylesbury, UK, and New York, US, was "Dan D. Lion," a lion wearing running shoes and jogging clothes, designed by art teacher Maryanne McGrath Higgins. The name was chosen by vote by children with disabilities.

After this, it became custom to create both Olympic and Paralympic mascots. Below is a list of official mascots since the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, which was the first year that the Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in the same city.

- 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul — "Gomdoori"

"Gomdoori," which means "teddy bear" in Korean, are two Asian black bears, each representing wisdom and courage. They are running a three-legged race with legs tied together, symbolizing the power of cooperation, of mutual encouragement, and of the ability to create peace and harmony together. From this year onward, the mascots began to have clear concepts.

- 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona — "Petra"

Designer and illustrator Javier Mariscal designed both the Barcelona Olympic mascot, a dog named "Cobi," and Paralympic mascot, a stylized armless girl named "Petra." The two mascots were a set, and this helped to strengthen the connection between the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

- 1992 Winter Paralympics in Tignes-Albertville — "Alpy"

The 1992 Paralympic Games held in France had a mascot named "Alpy," designed by Vincent Thiebaut. The mascot is a personification of the Massif de la Vanoise, a mountain range in Tignes, skiing on a mono-ski.

- 1994 Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer — "Sondre"

This one-legged skier mascot is based on the trolls found in Scandinavian folklore. It was designed by Janne Solem in a public competition among schools. The troll is named after the Norwegian skier Sondre Norheim, a pioneer of modern skiing and the "Father of Telemark skiing."

- 1996 Summer Paralympics in Atlanta — "Blaze"

The phoenix represents rebirth, fortitude and determination, and is also the symbol of the city of Atlanta. This mascot's bright colors and large wings make it one of the most famous symbols for para sports in the US.

- 1998 Winter Paralympics in Nagano — "Parabbit"

Parabbit is a white rabbit with one green ear and one red ear. The name was chosen from 3,408 submissions from students.

- 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney — "Lizzy"

Lizzy is a frill-necked lizard. Her green and golden frill is in the shape of Australia, and her body is the color of ochre to represent the land. Lizzy's strength, determination and attitude express that of all Paralympians participating in the Games.

- 2002 Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City — "Otto"

The otter was chosen for its agility and vitality, and also because the otter is believed to be the most powerful animal by the Native American cultures in the State of Utah.

- 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens — "Proteas"

This seahorse mascot represents strength, pursuit, inspiration and celebration. Designer Spyros Gogos took a step away from the mascot designs (concepts) before 2004, and created something that he believed best expressed the nature of Paralympic sports and the aspirations of para athletes to achieve excellence in their disciplines.

- 2006 Winter Paralympics in Torino — "Aster"

The concept of this snowflake-motif mascot was "uniqueness." Snowflakes are each complex and unique, qualities that also describe every person's life and each athlete's ability to train.

- 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing — "Fu Niu Lele"

This cow mascot, named "Fu Niu Lele," features colors used in traditional Chinese New Years paintings and gifts.

- 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver — "Sumi"

"Sumi" is a guardian spirit with thunderbird wings and black bear legs. The design is a nod to the indigenous peoples of Canada, and the name comes from the word "Sumesh." There are other characters as well, all with modern designs.

- 2012 Summer Paralympics in London — "Mandeville"

For the London Games, the Olympic mascot "Wenlock" and the Paralympic mascot "Mandeville" worked together as a team. Both mascots have detailed backstories and short animated films. They have a strange appearance with only one eye, which is actually a camera, and a yellow light on their foreheads, reminiscent of London taxis. Mandeville is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the birthplace of the Paralympics Games.

- 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi — "Ray of Light & Snowflake"

"Ray of Light," a character with amber skin, bright eyes and flame-like hair, came from a hot planet and landed on earth. He took up Nordic skiing and made friends with the people he met, but felt a sense of loneliness as the only "alien" on earth. One day he saw a shooting star, which turned out to be "Snowflake," a girl with snow-like skin from a cold planet. The two became friends and created Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling.

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