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On the 2010 Olympics Quatchi watch beat
Posted by Tiffany Campbell
He's actually squarish, squashy, delightfully cheerful (though still hairy) and sports bright blue earmuffs, at least according to the Vancouver Organizing Committee who created "Quatchi" as an official 2010 Olympic mascot. And I haven't seen a person yet who hasn't smiled or squealed at the sight of the giant plush Bigfoot, child or not. You either love Quatchi or you just haven't seen him yet.
According to VANOC, "Quatchi is a young sasquatch who comes from the mysterious forests of Canada." But he's also a cuddly ball of anthropomorphic cuteness that fans just can't get enough of.
He has friends — Miga the sea bear and Sumi the animal spirit — who are also popular, but nothing reaches the frenzy that erupts everywhere Quatchi goes. So, I started documenting all my brief brushes with the Qautchi madness.
At Pacific Coliseum, Quatchi was literally hustled through security by his handlers:
But they were nice enough to let he and Miga pause briefly so people could snap photos:
His Olympic handlers (otherwise known as Olympic volunteers calling themselves the "smurf brigade" or "avatars" to go along with their bright blue hats and coats) often have to call out directions, as it appears the mascots can neither see nor hear well. Once, Miga was tottering dangerously off course toward the wrong exit, while his handlers yelled and waved frantically: "To the right, Miga! Right!!"
I would have had a picture that time, but rabid Quatchi fans waving cameras jostled into me as they were manuvering for a shot and all I got was a big blurred mascot. The disappointment on their faces was palpable when his handlers said, "No pictures, now, please."
Quatchi at ice dancing:
Even though we ask everywhere we go, no one seems to know exactly why Quatchi is so popular. The hair, perhaps? All I know is that when Quatchi and Miga made a surprise visit to the Main Press Center yesterday, the exhausted international press corps nearly mobbed him:
In other mascot news, there is a movement to bequeath other Olympic-related creatures full mascot status.
But Quatchi has stolen many of the hearts here. Ending with a personal favorite of a Quatchi attack:
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