Munich 1972 – Mascot Waldi

Designer: Elena Winschermann

“The Bavarian Seppl is worn out, lion and eagle are unsuitable for advertising because of their pathos.” (Willi Daume, President of the Organising Committee) Already in summer 1970 the Olympia-Waldi was discussed. Outside Germany, the dachshund was regarded as a typical German animal, its characteristics as typically Bavarian: self-confident, stubborn, humorous.Waldi’s living example was the young wirehaired dachshund that Willi Daume donated to Felix Levitan, President of the International Association of the Sports Press (AIPS). The real Waldi, from a well-known breed in Fürstenfeldbruck-Maisach, lived from then on in Paris, where Madame Levitan took him for daily walks on the boulevards. Together with Monsieur Levitan, Waldi was of course invited to the grand Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on 26 August 1972 in the VIP box (bringing pets was otherwise not permitted!). The Olympic dachshund Waldi, a true replica of the real Waldi, had to be produced according to the strict rules of the design department of the Organising Committee: the silhouette was binding, the head and tail always had to be light blue, the body in the other Olympic colours vertically striped. Waldi was also not allowed to be produced shorter than 12.5 centimetres so that the emblem, the spiral and five rings, could always be seen on the chest. His inventors hoped that the minimum size would also prevent him from losing his toy character and being misused as a kitschy mini-figure. Waldi was the first mascot at Olympic Summer Games and marketed very professionally. In addition, the dachshund became the leading face of the Munich Games.