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Georg Hackl of Germany poses for the media during the training session with the Olympic mascots just prior to the Torino 2006 Winter Games in Italy. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Hodori, the Olympic mascot, holds the Olympic torch above his head while standing on top of a mountain of flowers during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Sam the Eagle, mascot of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics walks around the Memorial Coliseum during the Games' opening ceremony. (Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images)

The 2006 Turin Winter Olympic mascots Neve, at left, and Glitz perform during their presentation in Rome, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004. The Olympic mascots, representing a ball of snow and a block of ice, are designed by Portuguese designer Pedro Albuquerque. (AP Photo/Marianna Bertagnolli)

Olympic gold medallist Phil Mahre joins the 2002 Olympic mascots in a cheer to kick-off the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


LIFE at the 1948 London Olympics

1948 london olympics: photos from LIFE magazine - LIFE: swimming, london olympics, 1948

Misha the Bear, designed by Victor Chizhikov and selected as the mascot for the 1980 Moscow Olympics. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

American swimmer Adelaide Lambert. She competed in the 1928 Olympics, winning the gold medal in the 4x100 m freestyle relay.

Mark Spitz: American swimmer Mark Spitz training for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where he won a record seven gold medals, all in world record times. (Photo by A. B. Duffy/Keystone/Getty Images)


1952 Winter Olympics: American Skiers in Training

1952 Winter Olympics: American Skiers in Training - LIFE

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64 Superb Vintage Pictures Of The Winter Olympics

1968 Olympics, Grenoble, France. French skiers Jean-Claude Killy (gold) and Guy Perillat (silver), men’s downhill medalists.