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Izzy the Failed Olympics Mascot

For every year, the Olympic games brought good entertainment to homes of many when either watching from the actual stadium, or the simplicity by the comfort of your own couch with a television broadcast. While this was the norm for grown adults, how would this appeal to children? After all, they have the interest of playing outside activities of their own, and watching cartoons.

Izzy, the mascot would be introduced in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics after a 1991 mascot design contest was held.

The design for Izzy met with lukewarm reception, and eventually his design was changed. He was described as an alien (known as a Whatizit) with the five colored Olympic rings on his tail and a cutesy design to appeal to kids. However while harmless in look, others in media mocked how Izzy looked, and unfortunately he became a mascot that faded away into obscurity.

There were a fair amount of immature insult nicknames made after him, but I'll leave that to you to look them up since some have some rather inappropriate wordings to them. But while he was ridiculed for these reasons, he at least got a small amount of publicity in other media.

Around August of 1995, the Film Roman animation studio had a short animated special giving a story behind Izzy, the name of his species (A Whatizit) and proving to others that he can be a champion of the Olympics by participating in the games. He's told to earn the five colored rings, symbolizing different meanings of becoming a champion, for example, the blue ring symbolizing perseverance, and the red ring for sportsmanship. It aired on TNT for a brief couple of times, but never got an official home video release.

In November of 1995 Izzy got his own video game released on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. The story is simple, as Izzy must retrieve the five Olympic rings from enemies scattered around the world known as Slimers. Izzy's moves mimic that of Olympics exercises, such as hurdle jumping, pole swinging, and a somersault. Aside from his standard moves, he can morph into different forms, such as turning into a rocket, a fencer, and even an archer.

As he became the mascot for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, reception was already turning sour for the poor guy to the point that he became nothing more than a memory that those in the media wished they could forget. And really, it's sad to see that a mascot that was made for kids to give them interest in the Olympics was turned away from adults in such harsh criticism.

What are your memories of the Izzy mascot? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!

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Mr Magic Posted on Feb 21, 2023 at 01:14 AM


They give him a much bigger smile.

Benjanime Posted on Feb 21, 2023 at 12:08 AM

@Mr Magic
It's unfortunate that he'll never make a comeback in some way, but then I'm sure he'd get some absurd redesign if he did.

@Game Joy
Yeah big brother, I'll alwawys enjoy things how I see them :) even if it's a guilty pleasure! Thanks for the comment!

Game Joy Posted on Feb 20, 2023 at 11:51 PM

As I always do in life, to this day, I choose to not focus on haters: they're the worst beings, screwing this world up. That said, of course I enjoyed Izzy and the hype, and the video game came out with really good graphics as I can remember. Izzy looks cute and have a good heart, that's what counts to me most, so yeah, I remember enjoying the character then AND now. ❤️

Thanks for one more charismatic, memorable and at least to me, moving article. You're a special boy and I'll forever be proud of you as my brother. May the Lord bless you always.

Mr Magic Posted on Feb 20, 2023 at 11:38 PM

I see I'm not the only one who remembers Izzy.

I do remember the cartoon short.

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