The Olympic mascots are fictional characters, usually an animal native to the area or human figures, who represent the cultural heritage of the place where the Olympic and Paralympic Games are taking place. The mascots are often used to help market the Olympic Games to a younger audience, in particular toddlers and children. Since the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France the Olympic Games have had a mascot. The first major mascot in the Summer Olympic Games was Misha in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Starting with the 2010 Vancouver mascots, the Olympic and Paralympic mascots have been presented together.
Vinicius, the Rio 2016 Mascot
The name of the Olympic mascot pays tribute and named after to Brazilian musician, poet and bossa nova composer Vinicius de Moraes, decided popular vote.
Inspired by Brazilian fauna.
Vinicius is a mix of different Brazilian animals. His design takes inspiration from pop culture, as well as video game and animation characters. Alongside his Paralympic Games colleague, Vinicius represents the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature.