Summer Paralympic Games Mascots (1960 – 2008)

Following on from the last post about Paralympic logos here are all of the Paralympic mascots used at the summer Paralympic Games:

Rome 1960 – No Known Mascot

Tokyo 1964 – No Known Mascot

Tel Aviv 1968 – No Known Mascot

Heidelberg 1972 – No Known Mascot

Toronto 1976 – No Known Mascot

Arnhem 1980

The organisers of the Games decided upon the a pair of squirrels to be the mascots for the Games, apparently because a squirrel, in its lifetime, gets many hard nuts to crack, not unlike people with disabilities who, on a different level, face many problems as well. They chose to have a pair of squirrels because men and women take part in the Games. They then invited members of the public to submit designs for the squirrels and this contest was won by Mrs Opheusden of St Michielsgestel.


New York 1984

Designed by Maryanne McGrath Higens, a Long Beach Resident who taught art at the Lawrence, L.I. Junior High School, Dan D. Lion, is a friendly Lion in a jogging suit and running shoes and he wears the logo of the Games on his jacket. The children of the Human Resources School in Albertson, L.I. took on the project of providing a name for the mascot and held a full-scale election complete with posters, banners, electioneering and speeches. The race, with nominations from every class was very close. The winning name was the suggestion of the ninth graders in the class of Mary Anne Cicchillo.

Stoke Mandeville 1984 – No Known Mascot

Seoul 1988

According to the organisers of the Seoul Paralympic Games bears are well known for their courage and their wisdom and are depicted in the star constellations known as the Great Bear and the Little Bear. The two ‘moon-bears’ as the organisers describe them, are depicted with the legs tied together in order to show that all mankind can live together peacefully and vigorously whilst still co-operating with each other fully. The Gomdoori, as they were named, were meant to depict the grand celebration of human achievement and accomplishment that the organisers envisaged the Seoul Paralympic Games would be.

Barcelona 1992

Petra, as the mascot was called, was designed by Javier Mariscal. Petra was designed to appear as a friendly-looking, cheerful character who apparently ‘is clever, extroverted, thinks for herself and has many friends. She is a little stubborn, has an impressive store of inner energy and never cries’.

Madrid 1992

The mascot for the Games, ANDY, was a stylised heart meant to represent the heartiness, solidarity and friendship that would preside over the Games and which would keep beating towards full and complete integration of athletes with an intellectual disability at the next Paralympic Games in Atlanta four years later.

Atlanta 1996

Blaze, an American Bald Eagle, is representative of the Phoenix that rose, renewed, from its own ashes, which may be interpreted as the rebirth of the human spirit through achievement in sport.

Sydney 2000

The Mascot for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games was Lizzie, the frill-necked lizard, which was chosen to carry the Paralympic messages of performance, power and pride. Lizzie’s strength, determination and attitude symbolise all Paralympians. Lizzie’s frill is shaped as the map of Australia with its green and gold colours, while her body is the red ochre colour of the land.

Athens 2004

The creator of Proteas, Spyros Gogos, was asked to create a mascot that would express the four values of the Athens Paralympics: strength, pursuit, inspiration and celebration. In addition, he tried to create a mascot expressing the Greek nature of the competitions and a differentiation from mascots of previous Games. Proteas’ name is connected with the Greek adjective “protos”, meaning “first in rank” or “excellent”. The notion of excellence is something the mascot shares with Paralympians, who succeed in achieving ever-higher standards of performance.

Beijing 2008

The Official Mascot of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Fu Niu Lele, was unveiled at a grand ceremony at the foot of the Great Wall on September 6th 2006, marking exactly two years to the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games. “Fu” means “blessing”, “Niu” means “cow” and “Lele” means “happiness”. A modern cartoon figure in traditional Chinese colours Fu Niu Lele was designed by Wu Guanying, Professor at the Academy of Art and Design at Tsinghua University and apparently derives its inspiration from the farming and cultivation culture prevalent in ancient Chinese civilisation. Fu Niu Lele aims to symbolise the indomitable spirit of Paralympians and their resolve to be self-reliant. It also aims to symbolise the harmonious co-existence between man and nature.




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