Posts Tagged ‘Izzy’
The A12 in Stratford affords an excellent view of the burgeoning Olympic site, and progess appears to be continuing at a merry pace. But as the park takes form, it strikes me that one vital component remains missing: the mascot. Having neatly managed to alienate virtually the entire country with the logo, the committee must view this next event in the marketing decathlon with trepidation.
I boggle at how the organisers will play it, but a radical change in approach from the blessed logo seems likely. Maybe they will create a mascot that is extracted from the very essence of the East End. A kitten dressed as a Pearly King. Ronnie and Reggie the cuddly pair of crayfish. Or a lovable jellied eel sketched by a small child of Cockney persuasion.
My suggestion to the 2012 authorities is that they should schedule a fact-finding mission to the foothills of the Caucasus mountains, or more precisely Sochi. Sochi is the host of the 22nd Winter Olympics, to held eighteen months after the London games.
The tremors of discontent following the unveiling of the 2012 logo were clearly felt in eastern Russia because the organisers there deemed that the mascot should be the result of a civic consensus. To this end a ballot was held last March, the voting slip of which was attached to the form for the Russian presidential election. One of less peculiar aspects of that particular process if Western observers are to be believed.
There were four candidates: a polar bear, a dolphin, a snowflake and a mysterious figure called Ded Moroz who sounds like a Balkan folk nu-metal fusion collective, but in actuality is an elderly sort who carries out the seasonal present-dispensing duties in large parts of Eastern Europe. Probably because Santa can’t be fucked to go there.
It was a brutal campaign. Moroz began with a clear advantage – being a human helped him connect with the electorate in ways his rivals clearly could not. He hit the trail. Hard. As you can see by this photo.
The snowflake floundered against its obvious political flaws: being inanimate and everything. Although it never stopped Douglas Hurd to be fair.
And the polar bear drew unenviable parallels between Misha, the beloved mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The she-bear has entered Olympic history as one of the more popular mascots. I’m not entirely sure what the fuss was about, but at least she was something, unlike some others I could mention. Izzy, who did the honours at the Atlanta games, was little more than an amorphous doodle. Presumably the name was short for ‘what the fuck is it?’.
There was even talk that Misha would be brought out of retirement for an emotional swansong at the Sochi games. Sadly rumours were unfounded.
All of these machinations cleared the way for a landslide victory for the dolphin. Almost everybody likes dolphins. I’m not sure why. I thought Flipper was a bit of a twat.
The design of the Olympic mascot is a serious business, but we might have a little fun along the way. Democracy can be fun you know.