Category Archive: Lists

Top five worst Olympic mascots

We celebrate a handful of the disasters of design that have cropped up when Olympic Games organisers have tried to find a cuddly face to front their event.

1. Amik (Montreal 1976)
Yes, you will find some outrageously gaudy Olympic mascots in the history books, but at least they understood the basic principle that a mascot of supposed to engage children in the event (and flog a load of merchandise). With that in mind, we can’t figure out who thought a black silhouetted beaver in a red sash was the embodiment of the Games.

2. Waldi (Munich 1972)
Nothing says Olympic Games quite like a rainbow-coloured sausage dog. But Munich – or at least the organising committee – took Waldi to their hearts to such an extent that the marathon route was designed to draw a picture of him around the city. The distinctive daschund’s place in history was some what overshadowed by bleaker events at the 1972 Games.

3. Athena and Phevos (Athens 2004)
This pair managed to offend more than a few pairs of eyes. Some pondered why the Olympic Games seemed to be promoting obesity, while others claimed the mascots were ever so slightly phallic. Most offended of all were the Greek Society of the Friends of the Ancients who started legal action against the design of the mascots claiming they “mock the spiritual values of the Hellenic Civilization by degrading these same holy personalities that were revered during the ancient Olympic Games”. read more »

Top five ways the Royal Wedding is like London 2012

We’ve heard and read a lot from pundits – both armchair and otherwise – keen to draw similarities between today’s Royal Wedding and the Olympic Games.

Generally this has revolved around the amount of congestion in London or the expense to the public purse. But we thought we’d delve a little deeper than the obvious.

1. Welcoming former dopers back into the fold
With Elton John and Tara Palmer Tomkinson among the invited guests, the powers that be have decided that their former doping offences shouldn’t stop them from participating. And not a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in sight.

2. Lots of horsey-types getting very competitive
Striving for the best hat and the classiest outfit didn’t quite make the final shortlist for London 2012 events. They’ll have to make do with dress-age instead. read more »

Top five worst Olympics logos

1. London 2012
Sorry, London, but we still don’t get it. We thought it might grow on us, but it hasn’t yet and we are starting to think it probably never will. Loathed from Tehran to Springfield, the logo can at least take credit for getting people talking about the Games. read more »

Top five worst Olympic Games

1. Atlanta (1996)
Even now it sounds a strange choice for a US host city. Problems with transport and underwhelming stadia earned Atlanta criticism. Throw a terrorist attack on a fan park into the mix – with many blaming lax security arrangements for the bomb -and you’ve got a pretty good candidate for the worst Olympics ever.

2. Athens (2004)
The Athens Games provided a neat forewarning of the financial crisis that would bring Greece close to ruin. A raft of white elephant venues – most of which were nearly empty even during the Olympics – left a massive debt. Some high profile doping controversies, not least involving athletes from the host nation, also cast a shadow over the games.

3. Munich (1972)
Granted, it wasn’t Munich’s fault, but in the history books the Games are inextricably linked to the terrorist attacks that took place in Munich. Any Olympics at which athletes lose their lives is going to be a dark affair, and that has never been more true than the Munich Games, where 11 Israeli athletes were killed. read more »