For the capital of Germany, see Berlin.
Mascot "Berlino"

Berlino, an anthropomorphic bear, was the mascot of the 2009 World Championships in Athletics held in Berlin, Germany, noted for his hyperactivity[1] and celebrations with various athletes during the Championships.[2]


Up until now, Berlino appears to be mute. However, this condition does not seem to prevent him from giving interviews to the media.[3][4]

Berlino has been referred to as the "star" of the Championships[2][5][6] and been noted by athletes, such as Usain Bolt by wearing a t-shirt with "ICH BIN EIN BERLINO" ("I am a Berlino", referring to John F. Kennedy's famous West Berlin speech)[7] written on it during warm up for the 200 meter final.[5][8]

The iconic image of the games is the famous photograph of Berlino and Usain Bolt down on one knee, twinned in mutual respect, sharing a mimed lightning-bolt pose to celebrate victory and a new world record.[9]

In an interview, published after the World Championships in Berlin, Usain Bolt said: "Berlino and I have become friends. We exchanged telephone numbers."[10]

While celebrating winning the gold in 400 meter hurdles, Melaine Walker took a piggy-back off Berlino, who promptly ran into a stack of hurdles. The diverse videos of this have been watched over 400,000 times (26.08.2009) and have been called "a YouTube classic."[11]

He was also involved in some controversy during the men's 10,000m final in which he ran part of the race down the back strait with the athletes cheering them on. This annoyed some traditionalists[2] and it was rumoured that the IAAF told him to reel in the enthusiasm after this act.[11]

Smaller versions of Berlino - Berlino teddies as well as Berlino key rings, both produced in China[12] - were offered via Internet and in Berlin Tourist shops during the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in August 2009. After being delivered in the beginning of August 2009,[13] the Berlino teddies at first sold slow.[14] Due to the increasing popularity of the mascot during the games, Berlino soon became a bestseller and - before the end of the games - was out of stock.

Berlino later made a guest appearance at the UKA Aviva British Grand Prix, in Gateshead, on 31 August 2009, alongside the British mascot, Spike.[15][16]

Tournament officials refused to publicly disclose who played the part of Berlino. However, the Guardian Observer reported that it was 33-year-old Berlin actor Oliver Seiffert.[17]

Some famous appearances

See also


  1. Foley, Cliona (2009-08-21). "Athletics: A flash of 'Lightning'". Irish Independent.
  2. 1 2 3 BBC - Tom Fordyce: Berlino the Bear - love him or loathe him?
  3. Archived December 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. Leichtathletik-WM : Maskottchen Berlino im Exklusiv-Interview - Aktuelle Nachrichten - Videos - Video Berlin - Berliner Morgenpost - Berlin
  5. 1 2
  6. Leichtathletik : Maskottchen Berlino ist der wahre Star dieser WM - Aktuelle Nachrichten - Sport - Berliner Morgenpost - Berlin
  7. Athlet des Tages (6) - Ich bin ein Berlino - Sport - Sü
  8. "Mascot hunting ... let the games begin". The Australian. 2009-08-22.
  9. Smith, Giles (2009-08-25). "Berlino the Bear was the real star of these championships". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  10. Leichtathletik – WM: Bolt: „Berlino und ich sind Freunde geworden“ - Leichtathletik WM 2009 - FOCUS Online - Nachrichten
  11. 1 2 Foley, Cliona (2009-08-24). "Athletics: The lessons from Berlin". Irish Independent.
  12. Leichtathletik-WM : Plüsch-Bär Berlino kommt zurück in die Läden - Aktuelle Nachrichten - Berlin - Berliner Morgenpost - Berlin
  13. Nachrichten -
  14. Leichtathletik-WM : Berlino – Vom Ladenhüter zum Liebling der Massen - Aktuelle Nachrichten - Sport - Berliner Morgenpost - Berlin
  15. Broadbent, Rick (2009-09-01). "Jessica Ennis ends season with Berlin hangover". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  17. Lamont, Tom (2009-11-15). "Mascot of the year: Berlino the Bear". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  18. newspaper

External links

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