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Misha

Misha

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Misha also known as Mishka or The Olympic Mishka is the name of the Russian Bear
Russian Bear
The Russian Bear is a national personification for Russia, used in cartoons, articles and dramatic plays at least since the 17th century, and relating alike to Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the present-day Russian Federation....

, the mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 (the XXII Summer Olympics). He was designed by children's books illustrator Victor Chizhikov
Victor Chizhikov
Victor Andreyevich Chizhikov born on September 26, 1935. He is a Russian children's book illustrator and is the designer of the first ever Olympic mascot, Misha,of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games ....

.

Misha is the first mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 of a sporting event to achieve large-scale commercial success as merchandise. The Misha doll was used extensively during the opening and closing ceremonies, had a TV animated cartoon and appeared on several merchandise products, now things commonly practiced not only in the Olympic Games, also in the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 and others events' mascots.

Misha also appeared in the 1980 Olympics episode of the Russian cartoon Nu, pogodi!
Nu, pogodi!
Nu, pogodi! is a Soviet/Russian animated series produced by Soyuzmultfilm. The series was created in 1969 and became a popular cartoon of the Soviet Union. Additional episodes have been produced in Russia since 2006...

, handing trophies to the Wolf and the Hare.

Origins of the name Misha


In Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, Misha is a diminutive
Diminutive
In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

 for the Russian male name Mikhail (Michael). Most bears appearing in Russian fairy tales have this name, because it is similar to the Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 Mishka, the diminutive
Diminutive
In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

 of Медведь (Mjedvjed, Bear).

Origins


In 1977, the committee organizing the Olympics held a contest for the best illustration of a bear. The judges chose Victor Chizhikov's design depicting a smiling bear cub wearing a blue-black-yellow-green-red (colors of the Olympic rings) belt, with a golden buckle shaped like the five rings. Misha was confirmed as an official mascot on December 19th, 1977.

During the closing ceremony of the 1980 Olympic Games, Misha the bear appeared with a tear in its eye.

In 1988, in connection with the 60th anniversary of Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

, a special magazine was produced in which Mickey Mouse and Misha met.

External links

  • Bear Cub Misha Lover's Association, Misha's fan page (in Japanese
    Japanese language
    is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

    ).
  • Moscow Olympics' site, includes the Misha farewell song До свиданья, Москва
  • Translation of the Misha song to English at the China Daily
    China Daily
    The China Daily is an English language daily newspaper published in the People's Republic of China.- Overview :China Daily was established in June 1981 and has the widest print circulation of any English-language newspaper in the country...

    website
  • Olympics Logos and Mascots: Official image of Misha