slate.com – The 2016 Olympic Games are underway in Rio de Janeiro and despite all the problems, there’s one thing Brazil has done exactly right: creating forgettable Olympics mascots. This time around it’s Vinicius, a yellow cat-like creature who has the qualities of several Brazilian animals combined, and Tom, the mascot of the Paralympic Games, who has the qualities of a tree.
Like the best Olympic mascots of yore, Vinicius and Tom are well suited to plush toys and licensing deals and will be completely forgotten within a year. There are no obvious missteps here, like giving Wenlock and Mandeville cameras for eyes in surveillance-camera-ridden London in 2012 or whatever was going on with Atlanta’s Izzy in 1996. Vinicius and Tom can look forward to a happy future of slowly shedding fuzz at the bottom of toy boxes for the next few years before joining Waldi the dachshund, Amik the beaver, and Hidy and Howdy the polar bears in peaceful oblivion. But there’s one mascot you can’t buy in plush form: Fatso, the Fat-Arsed Wombat, the battling prince, the bane of the Australian Olympic Committee, and the hero of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
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