With all the billions of dollars that pour into the Olympics, you'd think that the least the host committee could do would be to come up with a decent mascot. But no! In a classic case of overthinking something into oblivion, cities obsess over the stupid mascots for years, until they create some sort of awful mutant-by-committee. This year is no different: the WSJ reports that the Beijing mascot (five assorted weird animal-like creatures, pictured) is disliked even by the artist who created them. Throughout the 70s and 80s, mascots were fairly normal: a tiger, an eagle, a bear, a beaver, a gay dachsund. But in 1992 abstraction took over, and the whole enterprise went off the rails. After the jump, pictures of the Olympic mascots from '92 onwards. They suck:

Barcelona 1992: "Cobi." WTF.

Atlanta 1996: "Izzy." No.

Sydney 2000: "Syd, Ollie, and Millie." Why?

Athens 2004: "Athena and Phevos." God.

[WSJ. Learn more about mascots here!]