Robert Moore worked as an animator for the Walt Disney studios in Los Angeles. Initially, the eagle was not chosen as the mascot; rather it was the bear – the emblem of California. But this idea was abandoned as a bear had already been used for the 1980 Moscow Games. Finally, the animal chosen was the eagle, appropriately named Sam. The symbol of the United States, Sam was meant to express optimism and the Olympic spirit, while recalling his roots in American culture, with his top hat in the colours of the national flag.