THE VAULT

Olympic Idol
February 20, 2006 by The Colonel

Nothing is Sadder than Olympic Mascots

This year’s Olympic games have one thing in common with the many before them: a mascot. The illustrious tradition of choosing a Mascot, to represent the event, stretches all the way back to 1968 in Grenoble, where Schuss, a stylized skier, was the first Official Olympic mascot. Tragically, the pressure of being an Olympic mascot leads many of these poor, benevolent souls down a path to destruction.

Dedicated to digging up the truth, Slantmouth brings you the story of these lost souls and for the first time anywhere, you will hear their stories. Steel yourself, as you might not like what you are about to read.

After being beloved by the world, their reign is over. Mascots often find the fall from the heights of stardom to be far too much to handle. The first tragedy occurred in 1981, after the winter games in Moscow. Misha the Bear Cub, one of the most beloved Olympic mascots, fell from grace while giving an interview on a popular children’s show. During the taping, a drunken Misha, stormed into the crowd, where he proceeded to rip off a child’s arm. Misha then defecated on the host’s desk while singing Bohemian Rhapsody in Russian.

After the incident on the children’s show, the calls dried up. His decline was far from over. No one wanted to have anything to do with Misha for fear of having their arm ripped off, or their desk pooed upon. His addiction to alcohol, especially Vodka, knew no bounds. He sank into the bowels of depression, but in an effort to keep the money rolling in to support his addiction, Misha joined the Zapashny Circus.

During a routine where he was to ride a modified tricycle around the main stage, Misha attacked his trainer. As Misha began to rush into the audience, other trainers approached and fired several tranquilizer darts into his back. When he came to, he knew that litigation and a firing squad was soon to follow. At this realization, the beloved mascot took his own life behind the circus tent the same night with a fatal mix of Vodka and Flintstone’s Chewable Vitamins.

We come next to the story of Sam the Bald Eagle, who was chosen for the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. It looked as though trouble started right away for Sam. Although he was able to land steady of work as an extra in Military recruitment films, Sam had a dangerous addiction to steroids. It didn’t take long for the side effects of the drugs to start showing. His once proud feathers began to fall out, and his roid rages were becoming uncontrollable.

Sam got into a confrontation with LA police during a routine traffic stop. When officials were unable to restrain the bird due to his steroid-induced frenzy, he lead them on a high-speed chase through downtown Los Angeles. A gun enthusiast, Sam retrieved his Colt .45 pistol from his glove compartment. When cornered, Sam opened fire, causing police to do the only thing they could- fire back.

The fatal altercation took the lives of 23 LAPD officers, though Sam was only wounded in the assault. Sam was arrested and sentenced to a life sentence at San Quentin Penitentiary. Slantmouth recently interviewed Sam the Bald Eagle, to get his side of the story.

“I was outta control, man.” Sam stated from his cell, “The ‘roids were taking over my life.”

He explained, “I just wanted to do better, you know? I just wanted to be the best.” He went on, “But that doesn’t excuse what I did. I’m better now, though. I found Jesus and I don’t need the drugs anymore. I do a lot of good work in here, try to look out for the newbies and show them a better way. And just to get it out of the way, no: I’ve never dropped the soap.”

Hodori the Tiger, the Mascot for the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, was originally a defector from North Korea. He embraced all of the liberties that living in the freedom of South Korea afforded him, including becoming an Olympic mascot. Unfortunately for Hodori, this exposure also brought him unfriendly attention from his former homeland.

After years on the run, Hodori the Tiger was finally captured by North Korea. It is rumored that he now resides in a North Korean internment camp, where it is expected he shall live out the rest of his days. Still others believe he a frequent entertainer at Kim Jong Il’s various crazy parties.

Our next mascot seemed to have avoided the pitfalls of Mascothood, right up until the dot com boom. Since the 1992 Barcelona games, Cobi the Dog had been doing well trading on the international stock markets. He knew he was in trouble when the web bubble began to burst, but felt secure with his remaining stocks. Unfortunately for Cobi, the entirety of his last stock portfolio was invested in companies located exclusively in the World Trade centers in New York. After September 11th, 2001, his life was shattered.

Cobi the Dog was last seen in Tijauna, Mexico, fighting a pitbull named Hannibal, in an unsanctioned dogfight. No one is sure of his whereabouts today.

When Izzy, mascot of the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta was chosen, he was already well on his way to an identity crisis, as his name is derived from, “What is it?” The notoriety that ensued from the Olympics drove Izzy into a spiral of fast cars and faster women. He became a frequent visitor to Atlanta’s numerous strip clubs. In an effort to keep his fame alive, Izzy released a gansta rap album entitled, What it is? Although the phrase became popular, Izzy did not.

Having spent the last of his Olympic earnings on recording his album, Izzy turned to a life of crime. He fell in with a local gang and started calling himself “IZ.” When confronted by a rival gang, Izzy was wounded by gunfire and lost the use of his legs. Shortly after, he disappeared into the streets of Atlanta, never to be seen again.

It has become clear that the life of an Olympic mascot is often more difficult than that of even the athletes. For the sake of brevity, we have excluded a few tragic tales, but it is clear that the ongoing efforts the Olympic committees will continue to put these odd individuals into jeopardy.

We can only hope for the best with this year’s Mascots, Neve and Gliz. Perhaps they’ll get the support they so desperately need from each other. We hope that they end up better than the last Olympic mascot duo, Athena and Phevos. Although the details of their last days are too gruesome to retell, the words “ritual,” “cult,” and “suicide” were involved.

We ask that until the Olympic committee ceases the use of these intrepid ambassadors of sport, that everyone at home boycott the Olympic games. Although upon viewing the ratings of the Olympic games, perhaps most of you already have.

Keep up the good work, oh fearless Olympic mascots and don’t be disheartened- Slantmouth stands behind you 100%. We will put an end to your suffering.

~The Colonel