Why Official Olympic Mascots Are So Damn Weird

A few weeks ago, amid the pollution- and Zika-filled media run-up to Rio, a press release issued by the Olympic organizing committee for PyeongChang, Korea (where the 2018 Winter Olympics will take place) received little notice. The single-page communiqué carried news about a white striped tiger named Soohorang. Rendered with computer graphics, the creature wore a cheesy grin and posed like a track star. Soohorang, you see, had just been chosen as the next official Olympics mascot.