Moose loses favor as skiing mascot

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Once again, we can only heave a sigh over the poor moose in Norway. Not only is the so-called “King of the Forest” about to be shot at, as the annual hunting season starts this weekend (see below) but the moose has long been a target of rampant commercial exploitation.

A vintage moose, left over from the last time Oslo hosted the Nordic World Championships, in 1982.

Tourists often take down and actually steal the moose warning signs posted along Norwegian highways. The moose, of course, doesn’t benefit from any of this at all.

Now, various groups in Oslo are adding insult to injury. It seems they don’t even want to consider using a moose as the mascot for the Nordic Skiing World Championships, to be held in Oslo in 2011. They’re, well, slaughtering the very idea. They don’t want trolls either.
“A mascot should look modern and in touch with the times,” Oslo’s tourist boss, Tor Sannerud, told newspaper Aften. Especially, he thinks, since Oslo wants “to present itself as an architecture and design symbol.” What may have been cute in earlier years is simply not cool now.

The officials in charge of arranging the World Championships still haven’t settled on a mascot. Various forces are lobbying hard for a “modern and creative” mascot, and information chief Nina Horn Hynne said the mascot chosen likely will be of “a design that’s future-oriented.”

One travel industry official claimed they meant no offense to the moose, but the moose mascot from 1982 now seems “a big aged” and she wants to see “a fresh and modern profile.” It’s so important, claims the industry, that the state should throw in some extra funding to ensure a cool design.

A decision needs to be made this fall. Stay tuned.

By Views and News staff

Moose courtesy of Jan Edvardsen.