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Mascot of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

©IOC

Cobi, the eccentric dog, was created by Javier Mariscal, who was born in Valencia in 1950. Established in Barcelona, where he has managed the “Estudio Mariscal” since 1989, his unique, avant-garde style is reflected in cartoons, industrial and textile designs, paintings, sculptures and interior decoration projects. This jack of all trades therefore has many important creations to his name: Barcelona zoo’s graphic identity; Madrid’s candidature for the 2012 Olympic Games; the creation of the Hannover Expo 2000 mascot (called Twipsy); and the interior fit-out of the Lighthouse – Scotland’s Centre of Architecture in Glasgow, the Gran Hotel Rimini in Italy, and the Gran Hotel Domine in Bilbao, among others.

However, the Cobi mascot had a mixed reception when it was first presented: its avant-garde look is in contrast to the more child-like style of previous mascots. For the record, novelist Manuel Vazquez Montalban defended Cobi, saying: “I am pro-Cobi. He is a homage to all the dogs run over at Barcelona’s motorway toll booth.”* Finally, the smiling dog, who was represented practising all sorts of sports, managed to overcome everyone’s reticence and was adopted by the public.

*Quote taken from the Olympic Review, September-October 1990, page 443.

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