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This artist brought the 2010 Olympic mascots back to life in Vancouver (PHOTOS)

Quatchi is a forest-dwelling sasquatch, while Miga is a sea bear - a mythical animal that is part killer whale and part Kermode bear.
olympic-dudes
Photo courtesy of the artist, WKNDSnack.

Do you remember Quatchi, MukMuk, Sumi and Miga? 

While they may not have seen them for a long time, four beloved 2010 Olympic characters are a welcome sight to Vancouverites during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pasted in various parts of the city, the adorable troupe offers a colourful trip down memory lane. Many people purchased the mascots as souvenirs of the winter games, while others may simply remember them as part of the Vancouver Olympic squad.

According to Olympic.org, Quatchi and Miga are the official mascots of the Vancouver Games. Quatchi is a forest-dwelling sasquatch, while Miga is a sea bear - a mythical animal that is part killer whale and part Kermode bear. These creatures are inspired by tales of the First Nations on the West Coast of Canada. Although he isn't an official mascot, MukMuk is very popular. "Mukmuk was inspired by a rare and threatened type of marmot that lives only on an island in Vancouver. His name is taken from the word “muckamuck”, meaning food in Chinook."

Sumi is the Paralympic Games mascot, and gets his name from the Salish (a language spoken by the Amerindian people of British Columbia) word “sumesh”, which means “guardian spirit”. Olympic.org explains how, "This creature, which has the wings of a thunderbird, the paws of a black bear and an orca hat, lives in the mountains near Vancouver."

Wile they aren't originally from Vancouver, the artist, who prefers to remain anonymous under their artist name, WKNDsnack, says they've spent a number of years in Vancouver and feel like home here. They add that they started making street art after seeing inspired local work from artists such as @mwbowen_artist, @sasquatch_army, and @olgairesse.

"The idea for this project started with me being a big fan of Olympic mascots. These four were designed by Meomi Design Inc (Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy) and they’ve become these unofficial symbols for the city," writes WKNDsnack to Vancouver Is Awesome in an email.

"It got me thinking where would they be ten years later. When I dug into the characters they had really detailed lore and I wanted to expand on that with some references to Vancouver culture like Quatchi wearing blundstones and Sumi studying law at UBC (a thunderbird studying at a school where Thunderbirds are the mascot)."

"At the end of the day, I was just trying to make people laugh and it felt like the right time for this."

While the artist wasn't in town for the Olympics, they say they enjoyed them in another country on T.V.

"The current pandemic is impacting everyone. A lot of people are feeling really isolated right now so whether it’s creating, or just following artists and art you like, it’s helpful. The Vancouver Mural Festival has done some amazing work partnering with local artists and businesses to really showcase the best of Vancouver, but there are a lot of great underground projects going on right now on Instagram like @mixedgemsvancouver, @stickvancouver, @slicevancouver, and @stuckinsidevancouveraf."

Have a look at what the mascots - and their mascot pal - are up to in B.C. these days. 

Quatchi

WKNDSnack notes that Quatchi suffered a painful knee injury after the Olympics that, "ended his dreams of “going to the show” as a hockey goalie."

"While recovering quatchi moved to East Van, got a few more tattoos and got really, really into craft beer. Like, really into it. He is currently working as a brewmaster and is a fully fledged member of the Sasquatch army."

MukMuk

WKNDsnack writes that MukMuk hit a rough patch post the 2010 Winter Games. According to an Instagram post, MukMuk couldn't find friends or work in the city, so he went to Vancouver Island to join a commune. After attending some drum circles and spending more time there, he eventually became the commune's leader. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

MukMuk

A post shared by πŸ††πŸ…ΊπŸ…½πŸ…³πŸ†‚πŸ…½πŸ…°πŸ…²πŸ…Ί (@wkndsnack) on

 

Sumi 

According to WKNDsnack, Sumi works as a lawyer these days: "Get it? Sumi... Sue Me."

"After 2010 Sumi continued working as a lifty in whistler for a few years," writes the artist in a post. "After growing tired of the constant black out nights and white out days; Sumi moved back to Vancouver with his Australian husband Dave and completed an undergrad degree in history. He then got into UBC law and is now working as a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Don’t worry though, he still rips deep pow on weekends with Dave and his two kids."

Miga

Fuelled by her newfound fame from the Vancouver Olympics, WKNDsnack writes that Miga quit snowboarding and started a band. As an early adopter of Instagram, Miga is, "Now the 335th most followed Instagram account [and] she makes enough money to never work again. Of course, she still tours and records albums with her group BC Roll. After 4 platinum records, 22 Juno awards and an upcoming track with Drake."

"Miga looks back at her Olympic days fondly."