I feel pretty ambivalent about the Vancouver 2010 mascots:
Hey wait, that’s not it! That’s just what came up first when I did a google image search for ‘vancouver olympics mascot’. Silly me. Here they are:
At first I felt like they succeeded at creating a design that was just fine thank you, something I can easily ignore because it’s just sort of cute and nothingy and fades into the background of lame bullshit that is constantly in our faces. At least it wasn’t a totally offensive boondoggle like the London 2012 logo, which really is just awful and hard to look at. With the precedent of the fibreglass Spirit Bears that plagued Vancouver for years, my hopes were minimal to begin with, and were met satisfactorily.
My next thought was that I’m not so big on the whole co-opting native symbols to promote an ubercorporate sporting event thing. I agree with Only, it’s distasteful. The designers had a tough job, though, satisfying the goals of both being marketable to a diverse global consumership, and also appeasing the Canadian anxiety about our shared identity (or lack thereof) as an immigrant nation, with our own unique baggage of colonial slash genocidal shenanigans to live down. So that’s a lot of pressure, and I think the results are basically passable. And hey, the kids love ’em, so that’s a big win.
I really think they should have just gone with the marmot though. Marmots are cool. When I was looking for a job a few years ago, browsing a government job database I found a posting for employment as a marmot watcher. You see, Vancouver Island’s golden marmot is endangered, there was only about 200 left in the wild, and they were being predated by bald eagles, which were also endangered, meaning you couldn’t shoot the eagles. So the solution they devised was to hire someone to camp out with the marmots for the summer to scare away the eagles. And I thought that would be a pretty good summer job. You know, just hanging out with the marmots. I don’t really have qualifications or experience in that field (a literal field), and I can’t remember what the listed qualifications were, but if one of them was “must think marmots are cool” then I would have been a shoo-in, because I think marmots are totally cool. Also, last July bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list, so they better watch their backs, is all I’m saying.