Where are the Mascots of the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics Today? | Flame Catchers

Where are the Mascots of the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics Today? | Flame Catchers


I went from going to school
every day and playing like a
normal ten-year-old, to doing all sorts of things
like being on TV or radio. We were part of the
medal ceremony, gave Gold and Silver to another Norwegian.
It was just miraculous. (FLAME CATCHERS) (LILLEHAMMER 1994 MASCOTS) (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
LILLEHAMMER 1994) Part of the magic of
Lillehammer ’94 came straight from the pages
of a fairy tale, with children from all over the
country playing the roles
of Haakon and Kristin, the first ever time the Olympic
mascots were real people. Haakon was a Norwegian
king of the 13th century. (ELLEF PRESTAETER, “HAAKON”
MASCOT, LILLEHAMMER 1994) It seems Kristin was his aunt and she was some kind
of princess or royal figure. What was special
was they didn’t want someone with, like, an animal costume
being a squirrel – they wanted Norwegian kids to perform these kind
of semi-historical characters. Some of the previous
mascots were very different! (SCNEEMANN THE SNOWMAN
INNSBRUCK, 1976) (RONI
LAKE PLACID, 1980) (VUČKO THE LITTLE WOLF
SARAJEVO 1984) (HIDY & HOWDY
CALGARY 1988) (MAGIQUE
ALBERTVILLE, 1992) (BRITT ELIN BJØRN, “KRISTIN”
MASCOT, LILLEHAMMER 1994) It was the year before the
Olympics, a paper was sent out to every
primary school in Norway, with an ad requiring mascots. My sister told me to try it out,
so she signed me up for it. After a while, I got a letter… ..saying I got an audition. So I went to that and sang a song by Alf
Prøysen and they thought it was good
and chose me. It really turned my life around. Up here, we were at the centre
of something big and we were basically
just smiling and waving. During the medal ceremony,
we would perform a poem, so that would be our main task and then we’d give flowers
to the winners. Both Ellef and Britt Ellin
remember particular magical moments whilst playing
Haakon and Kristin. We are at the cross-country
skiing stadium. I was here on the first day
of the competition for the 30k men’s race. There was a lot of anticipation
about this young contender who was my hero,
Thomas Alsgaard. He was only 22 years old. As it turns out, on the day,
he outperformed everyone. Then we were
part of the medal ceremony, gave him the Gold, and it was just miraculous. In the figure skating gala all the participants
dress up how they want… ..and create a real show, and
Philippe Candeloro from France dressed up as Rocky. He did his show with a salto
and it was really great. The audience went crazy. When he was done, I gave
him flowers. He knelt down
and kissed me on the cheek. The audience
were cheering “Woohoo!” Oh, I got one
on the other side as well! I was really happy. It was really fantastic, a really special moment. It was a really big part of my
life. I’ll never forget about it.
Never. A lot happened
in a short amount of time so it took some time to
sink in. I’m proud to have been
involved. The Olympic magic
returned 22 years later for the 2016 Winter Youth
Olympic Games and, again,
the people of Lillehammer got the chance to be involved. (WINTER YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
LILLEHAMMER 2016) A mascot was required, and local girl Line Ansethmoen jumped at the chance
to show off her artistic talent. My mum showed me
the competition and she wanted me to enter
and I thought, why not? (LINE ANSETHMOEN CREATOR OF
“SJOGG” MASCOT, LILLEHAMMER 16) It looked like fun and if I didn’t
get chosen or didn’t win, then no biggie! I did a little bit of research
before I decided what to draw, I did sketch a fox, a moose, a strange rodent, but I felt like a lynx would
suit our fauna and nature quite
well. ‘Sjogg’, meaning snow
in Norwegian, was born! I wanted him to look like
an average teenager in a way, so not really buff. I made him sort of chubby,
not too muscular, really have the cat eyes. It’s like I was the mother
or the creator of it. I saw him on the buses
and in the city, everywhere. When I see him now, I’ve kind of gotten used to
seeing him around. I hope he will last a while,
so it’s nice. Without putting on any skis or
skates, Lillehammer ’94 and 2016 changed Ellef, Britt Elin
and Line’s lives forever. (FLAME CATCHERS) (LILLEHAMMER 1994 MASCOTS)

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