By Tom Degun

Innsbruck_2012_logo_2October 27 - The inaugural 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck are currently looking to find a mascot, with members of the public invited to submit entries.

Since its introduction during the Olympic Winter Games in1968 in Grenoble, an official Olympic mascot is used in all Games for promotional reasons.

Usually, the mascot is some kind of animal of the host region or, in some cases, a human being representing the cultural heritage of the area.

Innsbruck 2012 say the mascot they are looking for should "be happy and youthful, be an animal, be a human being or an imaginary character, be fictitious and not bear any similarities to any existing characters, have a clear connection to the Tyrol and to winter sports, authentically reflect the Games, Innsbruck and the Tyrolean Youth and fit with our 'Look of the Games'.

"The 'Look of the Games' is the eye-catching and dynamic design of the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games that is primarily characterised by a colourful patchwork of pixels.

"This look is a mix of the quadratic shape of the Innsbruck 2012 logo and the colours of the Olympic Rings.

"The so-called 'pixel-virus' is supposed to infect all the athletes, fans and spectators from now until the Games in January 2012.

"We want to spread the friendly virus like a virtual spirit on the internet and thus make the motto 'Become a part of it!' a tangible experience for everyone."

Proposals have to be submitted in digital format but mascots drawn by hand can be scanned and sent by e-mail (original drawings should not be thrown away).

Among all submitted proposals, the Innsbruck 2012 Organising Committee will choose the top three mascots.

These will then be published on as well as on for online voting.

After consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and possible adaptations, the final mascot will be presented in February 2011 during the Youth Olympic Snow Festival.

Participants looking to design the mascot have until October 30 to register for the competition by e-mail and then up to December 3 to submit their mascot proposals via e-mail.

The top three mascots will be published on websites for online voting from December 9-14 and, following consultation with the IOC in January 2011, the official Innsbruck 2012 mascot will be presented in early February 2011.

The inventor of the official Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic mascot will be awarded a prize – along with the two runners-up.

To participate, entrants must be a maximum age of 25, find an appropriate name for their mascot design and submit via e-mail to [email protected] on size A4 paper with a maximum memory of 10 MB.

They are also required to give their name, date of birth, address, email and telephone number.

Contact the writer of this story [email protected]

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