1988 Olympic Mascots – Hidy & Howdy

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Calgary’s Olympic mascots were more conventionally successful than their rodent predecessor. Basking in the fuzzy glow of the Calgary games, which were uncharacteristically free of controversy, audiences warmly embraced the pair of western-attired polar bears. More than twenty years later, Hidy and Howdy are a little less impressive. Presumably, the intention was to mix a national symbol (Polar Bears are now found on the Canadian two dollar coin, but in 1988 they had virtually no connection with Calgary or the province of Alberta) with distinctive local culture (I think K.D Lang sported Heidi’s outfit in the eighties). However, their symbolism feels pretty shallow today, as though Hidy and Howdy were designed to reinforce prominent stereotypes rather than provide cultural insight. Their unremarkable execution does little to help matters.

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