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    Two stoats are Italy's Olympic mascots


    For the 2026 Winter Games
    Two stoats are Italy's Olympic mascots

    Beijing had the panda “Bing” as its Olympic mascot, Paris relies on the “Phryges”, two red caps. And who will represent the Winter Olympics in Italy? The result of an ideas competition is now being presented at the Sanremo Festival.

    Two stoats are the mascots of the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. At the traditional Sanremo music festival in the northern Italian coastal town of the same name, the two mascots were introduced by show master Amadeus and the head of organization of the Winter Games, Giovanni Malagò.

    According to the organizers, there are two siblings: the two stoats, also called big weasels, Tina and Milo, differ in their light and brown fur. Tina, a reference to Cortina, represents the Olympic Games. Milo, a play on Milan's Italian name, Milano, represents the Paralympic Games. As already seen in the costume, Milo only has one leg. But with “ingenuity and a lot of willpower, he learned to use his tail and overcome any obstacle,” it said on the official Winter Games website.

    With their liveliness and speed, stoats, long an important part of the fur industry because of their fur, are the ideal animals to embody the spirit of the 2026 Winter Games, it said. The mascot team also includes six snowdrops who accompany the stoats at the Winter Games.

    Tina and Milo are the result of an ideas competition in which students from primary and secondary schools from all over Italy took part. The various proposals were presented in Sanremo last year. This year the official unveiling of the song competition followed. The ambassador for the 2022 Beijing Olympics was “Bing,” a panda encased in a shell of ice. This year's Summer Games in Paris will not be accompanied by an animal mascot, but by the “Phryges”, red triangles that are intended to be reminiscent of the Phrygian caps of the French revolutionaries.

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