The mascots of the 2026 Winter Olympics were chosen through a multi-stage selection process that involved input from the public, experts, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The selection process began in 2019 with an open call for submissions from designers and creatives around the world. The submission criteria required that the proposed mascots reflect the values and culture of the host cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, as well as embody the Olympic spirit of excellence, friendship, and respect.

After receiving over 2000 submissions, a panel of experts narrowed down the field to a shortlist of 8 designs. The shortlisted designs were then presented to the public in an online poll, where people from around the world were invited to vote for their favorite. The online poll received over 130,000 votes.

Based on the results of the online poll and further evaluation by the panel of experts and the IOC, the final design was chosen. The mascots, named “Neve” and “Gliz”, are two stylized animals that represent the snow and ice of the Winter Olympics. Neve is a snowball-shaped character with a scarf and earmuffs, while Gliz is a snowflake-shaped character with skis and goggles.

The selection of the mascots is an important part of the branding and marketing of the Olympics, and the process is designed to ensure that the mascots are engaging, memorable, and reflective of the host cities and the Olympic values.

The mascots were officially unveiled in January 2022, with a launch event that included a presentation of the mascots’ backstory and a performance by a dance group dressed in the mascots’ costumes.

According to the backstory, Neve and Gliz are two animals that have lived in the mountains of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo for centuries. They are friendly and playful creatures that love winter sports and embody the spirit of the Olympics. The backstory was created to give the mascots a sense of personality and to help engage fans and audiences.

The mascots will be featured in a wide range of promotional materials leading up to the 2026 Winter Olympics, including merchandise, advertising campaigns, and social media content. They will also be present at the Olympic venues and events, where they will interact with fans and spectators.

The selection of the mascots is an important part of the Olympic legacy, as they serve as ambassadors of the host cities and the Games. They help to build excitement and anticipation for the event, and they provide a memorable symbol of the Olympic experience for fans and participants alike.