Friday, December 14, 2007

What the f*** were they thinking

Recently the Vancouver Olympic Committee unveiled the new Olympic mascots for the 2010 games in Vancouver. I love that that they embraced Canadian multiculturalism, First Nations' culture and didn't do a moose and a beaver.

On the other hand, are mascots that needs this much explanation really that great an idea?

Sumi is an animal spirit who lives in the mountains of British Columbia. Like many Canadians, Sumi's background is drawn from many places. He wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty thunderbird and runs on the strong furry legs of the black bear.

Uh-huh.

When they unveiled the logo for the 2010 games a lot of people, well, everyone I spoke to wondered what an inukshuk had to do with BC. And we're still wondering. Then there was the fiasco at the close of the 2006 Turin Olympics where every Canadian cliche was trotted out and run around the stadium for the official invitation to attend the Vancouver games.

One of the things I love about the mascot is the embracing of West Coast First Nation's art, without sticking with Haida themes. I love Haida art and Bill Reid, but there was and is more than that happening on the West Coast.

I hope the 2010 Olympics are the best ever, but sometimes I wonder what the f*** are they thinking.
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