4. Sam the Olympic Eagle (1984 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles)
At the risk of sounding wholly un-American, I kind of hate Sam the Olympic Eagle. Olympic mascots are traditionally supposed to highlight and celebrate the culture of the host country, while at the same time being cute and cuddly enough to win over the rest of the known world. One can't help but think of the United States when one looks at Sam and that's fine. He's just so obvious. I mean, c'mon, an eagle? How long did it take to come up with that one? If the answer is anything other then "a couple seconds," there's something terribly wrong. And then the red, white and blue Uncle Sam hat. Ugh. Yawn city.
3. Izzy (1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta)
In 1996, the United States went in the completely opposite direction and gave us Whatizit, or Izzy for short. What was Izzy? Was he a “sperm in sneakers” as many in the media, presumably those who had never seen sperm, labeled him? Was he smiling blue shape-shifting blob? Was he an anthropomorphic Olympic torch like I think? Was he anything you wanted him to be and therefore one of the lamest Olympic mascots in recent history? The world may never know, but it’s probably the last one.
2. Waldi (1972 Summer Olympics, Munich)Hey, look, everybody. It’s Waldi the Olympic dachshund. Yep. There he is. Sigh.
To be fair, Waldi wasn't the worst thing to happen at the Olympics that year, just the lamest.
1. Athena and Phevos (2004 Summer Olympics, Athens)
Ah, yes, Athenos and Phevos, the gourd-shaped weirdos of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the birthplace of the Olympics. You remember the Olympics, right? Those semi-mythological feats of human physicality allegedly created by Heracles himself following the completion of his famous 12 Labors? Yeah, Heracles, or Hercules if you prefer, apparently thought up the Olympics on his off time, and yet Athenos and Phevos, two supremely odd-looking gourd-people, get to the be the face of the 2004 Olympics? OK.
There is something about Athenos and Phevos that make them just look dumb. I think it’s their tiny heads. Can’t fit much brains in skulls that small. And they don’t look particularly athletic, with their giant puss-filled feet and chubby asses. They look like escapees from a state fair freak show. Lame.