By popular vote two stoats were selected as mascots for the Olympic Games 2026 in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy). Now the people's choice must be approved by the competition organizers.
53% of the voters cast their votes for stoats, leaving the Edelweiss flower in second place. A total of 1,600 entries from 681 classes and 82 schools from 81 Italian provinces were submitted for selection. Local students were asked to submit two characters to represent the OG-2026.
The mountaineer characters were drawn by students at the Catanzaro Institute.
"The stoats will have to overcome obstacles by trying out all of the sporting disciplines presented at the Winter Games to get to the slopes and rinks in 2026 as active athlete supporters," the students wrote in the description of their entry.
The 2026 Olympic Games will be held from February 6 to 22, 2026, and the Paralympic Games will be held from March 6 to 15.