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The mascots' names represent the Calgary region's hospitality. Thus Hidy is an extension of “hi”, and Howdy is short for “how do you do”, a typical West American greeting. These names were chosen by a citizens' jury following a contest organised by Calgary Zoo that attracted almost 7,000 entries.
Hidy and Howdy are polar bears, symbolic of the Arctic regions located in the north of the American continent. They wear “Western” style hats and outfits.
Sheila Scott, Great Scott Productions
A study group made up of representatives of the department stores in Calgary worked on the choice of mascot. The brown bear was considered, as it was the most popular cuddly toy animal, but it had already been used as a mascot for the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games. Finally, it was the polar bear who won: it illustrates the cold season and is active in winter as it does not hibernate.
Howdy and his sister Hidy were the first mascot couple.
Find out more about the Calgary 1988 Olympic Games on olympic.org