Schneemann was the first official mascot of the Winter Olympic Games

The first official mascot of the Winter Olympic Games was at Innsbruck in 1976 and was called Schneemann, a snowman in a traditional red Tyrolean hat. Designed by Walter Pötsch, Schneemann was purported to represent the 1976 Games as the "Games of Simplicity". It was also regarded as a good-luck charm, to avert the dearth of snow that had marred the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. The public's opinion of Schneemann was divided, but its financial success was indisputable. In addition to the tee-shirts, soft toys and the other items Schneemann inspired, individuals in large costume versions became "living mascots" at promotional events. There were objects with Schneemann holding a hockey stick or wearing skis and boots. This practice of representing the mascot in various poses and practicing multiple sports has become customary.