Nowadays every big sport event needs a mascot. Most of these mascots are rather boring and neither cute nor funny and most of all lack originality. Imagine my surprise and elation, when I first read about the mascot for next year’s icehockey worldchampionship, which will take place in Germany. I just liked the mere idea, without even having seen what the mascot looks like. Because the mascot will be “Urmel auf dem Eis” (= Urmel on the ice) and of course it originates from “Urmel aus dem Eis” (=Urmel from/out of the ice). Most Germans my age will remember Urmel at least by name. I have to admit I never watched it on TV myself. “Urmel aus dem Eis” was a very popular and successful TV program, first aired in the early 1970ies and in reruns later on. It’s a puppet play based on a children book and there are also other cartoon versions of the book, but the puppet play is probably the most known. Urmel is something between dinosaur and mamal and it was found (still in it’s egg, waiting to hatch) within a block of ice. Hence the name.
I was just happy that someone obviously had enough sense to look for a mascot that has some kind of tie to the “ice”. During the international hockey tournament in Munich last weekend, I finally saw and met Urmel for the first time. What can I say? It was love on first sight ;-) Which was most probably due to the fact, that the guy(s) in the costume know how to work a crowd in a sport arena. He was doing everything right, dancing, partying with the fans, starting the wave and basically just goofying around. It didn’t hurt that Urmel itself was cute, with it’s oversized jersey with the number (20)10 on its back. It seems like two mascots will be touring the German hockey league venues in the next few weeks. At least one was in Iserlohn on Friday, from where Bro3 reported back to me ;-) Some of our hockey friends talked to the guy in the costume and was told that there are basically just these two guys being Urmel at the moment. The second one was at the game in Nürnberg last night. So maybe Urmel also will be joining us in Cologne some day. Would be fun, I think.
Of course I couldn’t leave Munich without taking some Urmel souvenirs with me. I bought a coffee cup for my office (can’t provide a picture, because it’s at the office already) and a pendant for my keyring. Skoda (sponsor of the national hockey team) gave away Urmel poster (which I stuck it to my fridge). The “Urmel highlight” *g* was meeting it on the first night in Munich already. I was just on my way to the restrooms, but there it was and I couldn’t not have a picture taken, could I :-) ?