In 1977, the committee organizing the Olympics held a contest for the best illustration of a bear. The judges chose Victor Chizhikov’s design depicting a smiling bear cub wearing a blue-black-yellow-green-red (colors of the Olympic rings) belt, with a golden buckle shaped like the five rings. Misha was confirmed as an official mascot on December 19th, 1977.

During the closing ceremony of the 1980 Olympic Games, Misha the bear appeared with a tear in its eye. He was holding a couple of balloons and at the end he was released and flew away from the stadium. He disappeared. A few hours later he landed on Vorobyovy Gory and later was exhibited at the Exhibition Centre for some time.

SovietEraMuseum exclusive: Soviet olympic mascots and souvenirs:

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