Waldi was the first official mascot in the history of the Olympic Summer Games. He is a dachshund, a very popular animal in Bavaria, famed for its endurance, tenacity and agility. The mascot features several different colours: its head and tail are light blue, with a striped body featuring at least three of the six Olympic colours.
According to the book, “The Olympic Marathon” (2000), the Olympic marathon route in 1972 corresponded to the shape of the mascot. With the dog’s head to the west, the route started at the neck, and the athletes ran counterclockwise.
Waldi was born on 15 December 1969 at a Munich Games Organising Committee Christmas party, where those attending were given crayons, sheets of paper and modelling clay with which to produce their mascot designs.
Waldi had a real-life alter ego, a dog called Cherie von Birkenhof, which the Munich Games Organising Committee President, Willi Daume, had given to the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) President, Félix Lévitan, in 1970.