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175 days to go – Meet the Mascots: Sumi!

August 20, 2009

Time for our last Mascot! Sumi!  This is a slightly different “Meet the Mascots” than Miga or Quatchi but I hope that it is as informative.

The name comes from the Salish word “Sumesh” which means “guardian spirit”.  I have found that, so far, I have far less connection with Sumi than with Quatchi or Miga.  There is a reason for this.  For me, Quatchi, as a sasquatch, has a story I am familiar with.  Quatchi is cute and furry, shy and adventurous.  I get that.  Miga, half orca and half spirit bear.  She is adorable and representative of some of the most spiritually significant animals of Canada.  I get that too.



Sumi though, is an animal spirit – he is a blend.  His hat is that of an orca whale (guardian and traveller of the sea).  He flies with the wings of thunderbird (a powerful supernatural creature that creates thunder with its wings).  He walks on the legs of a black bear (found across Canada, strong and friendly).  He is a representation of transformation between man and animal – animal and animal.  Transformation is a strong theme in many Native North American traditions.  And really, transformation stories and art are some of my favourite of Native culture, so I have an especially hard time explaining why I haven’t connected with him well.


Sumi - sledge hockey pin.

I think the reason that I haven’t connected with Sumi the same way as the other Mascots is because I view him as very strong and independent.  He isn’t the same sort of “cute and adorable” that the other Mascots are (though he is pretty darn cute!).  And while he is fluffy, he can fly, swim, ski and play sledge hockey; he wants to learn all of the sports so that he can play with everyone.  It’s sort of like he is the adult Mascot, watching over and caring for the others.  And as I think about all of this I am gaining a new respect for Sumi.

He is a “great fan of the Paralympics” and really is the Mascot most associated with the Paralympic sports.  He “works hard to protect the land, water and creatures of his homeland”.  See?  The adult Mascot!  Or rather, the carer Mascot.  Sumi watches over all while flying over the land.  How about that!  In the space of a blog post I have found a way to connect with an emblem I hadn’t understood before.  I’m really happy that it was time to talk about Sumi.  I hope that you have a connection to Sumi now too!

If you’d like to read more about Sumi, check it out Vancouver 2010 here.

Thank you and Merci!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2010 4:25 am

    Hahah, reading you slowly connect with Miga was so entertaining. I have to admit, I felt the same. Maybe for me it was the hat.


  1. 9 days 18 hours to the Paralympics – The Torch Relay has started! « 2010VanFan

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