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2010 Games mascots to be unveiled Nov. 27

Mascots are key to millions in revenue dollars

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The world will find out this month what the mascots will look like for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

They will be unveiled Nov. 27 in Surrey with the help of about 800 students in Grades 3 to 5 from eight different schools.

About 90 students from Spring Creek Elementary will also be there for the unveiling.

Information will also be available about the mascots at the Vancouver Organizing Committee’s educational website at vancouver2010.com/edu.

“The mascot launch is a much-anticipated celebration leading up to the Games,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s CEO. “The mascots will become cherished icons, especially for children — and symbols of our Games, our country, and our moment on the world stage.

“They are a playful way to engage a young audience and increase their understanding of the Olympic and Parlaympic Games and we hope they will spark excitement, laughter, and cheers from children and adults alike.”

The mascots are a key component of the identity of the 2010 Games and have become one of the most efficient ways for the Games to spread the message of sport, culture, and the environment and sustainability.

They are also a major source of revenue. If the mascots are popular they can generate millions of dollars from the sales of stuffed toys, pins, and clothing. They may even be part of their own video games in the future.

The preliminary mascot designs were shared with the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala City in the summer. VANOC has done extensive consumer research on the designs.

The Olympics have had a mascot since the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, which featured Schuss, a stylized skier.

The first notable mascot though was Misha, a bear cub designed by a children’s book illustrator, for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

The 2000 Sydney Summer Games had three official mascots, but it was the unofficial one, Fatso the Fat Arsed Wombat, who stole the show. VANOC would prefer that not to happen to the 2010 mascots.

In May Calgary’s 1988 Winter Games polar bear mascots, Howdy and Hidy, were removed from the city’s major entranceways.

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