1. Misha (Moscow 1980)
The ultimate mascot in every sense. Despite only being a bear cub, he proved to have very good business acumen and became the first Olympics mascot to achieve commercial success in his own right. Add the fact that he’s a cute, cuddly bear and you have pretty much got the perfect mascot.
2. Cobi (Barcelona 1992)
A Catalan sheepdog with a penchant for dressing like a tourist rep drawn in a Cubist style sounds like a recipe for mascot disaster. But Cobi actually pulls it off. He was hugely successful from a merchandising point of view and even had his own TV show.
4. Sam (Los Angeles 1984)
Apart from the naming issue that meant he was always destined to be confused with Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show, Sam was a splendid mascot. Overtly patriotic and a happy chap to boot. In the age of Olympic legacy that we now live in, Sam is still rolled out to promote LA84-themed athletics events in the States.
5. El Jaguar Rojo de Chichen-Itza (Mexico 1968)
The Godfather of Olympics mascots. The Red Jaguar was based on a throne at “El Castillo” pyramid at Chichen Itzá. Fittingly, he has become a mythical figure in his own right. Perhaps since the idea of a mascot was still finding its feet, information and photographs on the first ever Olympic Games mascot are almost impossible to track down.