Seoul 1988 – Mascot Hodori

Designer: Kim Hyun


To find the official mascot, SLOOC had announced a competition, which was held in September and October 1982. More than 4,300 works were received; those responsible divided them into 60 categories and subjected the drafts to an initial assessment. The most promising candidates were four animals: a rabbit, a tiger, a squirrel and a pair of mandarin ducks. The selection was reduced in a second step to the tiger and the rabbit. In December 1983, SLOOC finally decided in favour of the tiger, whose tradition, popularity and symbolism among the peoples of the Korean states had a decisive influence on the election. This coincided with a central concern of those responsible, according to which the positive characteristics of the mascot animal should coincide with those of the Koreans. Once the species of the mascot was chosen, the task was to find the right graphic implementation. The design committee commissioned seven graphic designers to submit two or more drafts each. Of the 14 designs received, one by Seoul graphic artist Kim Hyun outperformed all others. SLOOC, however, demanded modifications before approving his tiger mascot in the summer of 1983. In the design of Kim Hyun, the Korean tiger is a small, cute, cheerful tiger cub. His body shapes are childlike, round and soft. The Olympic rings hang around the neck – like a medal – on a three-coloured ribbon. The little tiger wears the traditional Sangmo hat of a Korean farm music player on his head. The long narrow band attached to the tip of the hat flows in an S-shaped spiral around the figure – thus forming the initial letter of the host city of Seoul. The name of the mascot originates from a separate competition in December 1983. The Organising Committee had defined clear criteria: the name should radiate friendliness, be typically Korean, while also being easy to remember and pronounce internationally. More than 6,000 proposals were received, from which the name “Hodori” was chosen after a long process in April 1984. The main attributes of the lovable tiger are dignity and bravery. However, Hodori was also portrayed in many other variations, which were intended to bring him into connection with the Games or the host country. So there are variants of the mascot with the South Korean national flag, at the torch run, with signposts as well as “Welcome”, “I love Seoul” or “Goodbye” variations, just to name a few. Hodori was also portrayed as a bride or groom, as a drum or fan dancer, Korean aristocrat, etc. – and thus in poses based more on popular custom than on the theme of Olympia; there are a total of 19 different pictographs in this series, some of which can be seen on the right.


ARCHERY

ATHLETICS

BASKETBALL

BOXING

CANOEING


CYCLING

EQUESTRIAN SPORTS

FENCING

FOOTBALL

GYMNASTICS


HANDBALL

HOCKEY

JUDO

MODERN PENTATHLON

ROWING


SHOOTING

SWIMMING

TABLE TENNIS

TENNIS

VOLLEYBALL


WEIHTLIFTING

WRESTLING

YACHTING



Demonstration Sports


BASEBALL

TAEKWONDO

BADMINTON

BOWLING

WHEELCHAIR RACES

EXHIBITION SPORTS