Tuesday, September 1, 2009


If you were anywhere in the area of the Olympiastadion or the Brandenburg Gate during the recent IAAF World Track & Field Championships, you could not avoid the official mascot, Berlino (left, hanging out with the author).

He was here, there, every bloody where!

In my nine trips to the IAAF World Championships, there has never ever been a mascot who was as visible as Berlino. Berlino was on the track doing the "Lightning Bolt" pose with Usain Bolt after both of his dashes into history; he was picked up off his feet by German Robert Harting after winning the discus; and got a huge bear hug from Poland's Anna Rogowska after her upset win in the pole vault.

Berlino also became infamous for his crash into the hurdle cart while carrying Jamaica's Melaine Walker on his back after her win in the 400 meter hurdles.

Here's a great interview with Berlino, the dancing bear and official mascot, conducted by the BBC. Hart to believe that the BBC's Michael Johnson and Colin Jackson are playing straight men to Berlino...enjoy!

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