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Olympic Outsiders

If you can't be inside the Olympic Games, then follow Seattle Times producers, reporters, videographers and Olympic fans as we take you to the streets of Vancouver, B.C., to show you what's happening on the ground and give you a taste of the scene swirling around the 2010 winter games.

February 23, 2010 at 5:33 PM

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Free Mukmuk from cyberspace: Vancouver is crazy for its Olympic mascots

Posted by Tiffany Campbell

Well, I wasn't there, but my sources pointed me to today's rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery to include "Mukmuk the marmot" as an official 2010 Olympic mascot.

If you aren't already obsessed with the mascots like much of the population of Vancouver, here's more information on the official mascots of the 2010 Olympics.

I'll let the Vancouver Sun explain with this story, headlined: "People want Mukmuk unshackled":

Mukmuk as a bobsledder? A Paralympic mascot? A navigational beacon for the thousands of visitors looking to find their way around the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics?

These are some of the ideas we've received from people -- including many children -- who say they want Vanoc to unshackle the furry little Vancouver Island marmot from his cyber jail. Many say they don't like Vanoc's designation of Mukmuk as an online sidekick to the three official mascots, Quatchi, Miga and Sumi, and they've sent us drawings, letters and even poetry urging that he be made a full-fledged mascot.

A large number of readers have sent messages that while they love the three official mascots, they identify more with Mukmuk as a very real Canadian icon.

Here's a sampling from readers of the Vancouver Sun.

In other related commentary:

Pity Mukmuk. While his friends Quatchi, Miga and Sumi gallivant off everywhere entertaining children in the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games, Mukmuk the marmot is left to pick up the trash and tag along behind. For those of you who don't know poor Mukmuk, he's the virtual reality sidekick to the Vancouver 2010 mascots. He lives mainly in cyberspace. Well, cyber jail, really, because he doesn't get out much.

Full journalistic disclosure: Official Olympic mascot Quatchi visited the press center here in Vancouver today. Stephanie Clary took this picture, along with one of me and the mascot.

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