The turtle lovers, researchers, wildlife activists and people of Kendrapara thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for choosing this as the official mascot.

A mascot is any human, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or anything used to represent a group with a common public identity. One of the first mascots associated with a major sporting competition was World Cup Willie (England’s 1966 mascot). But sports mascots now play a significant role in representing a particular event or a specific sports team. 

Who is the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Mascot?

The 15th edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup, held at Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar and Birsa-Munda Stadium of Rourkela in the state of Odisha, is from January 13 to January 29, 2023. ‘Olly’, the Olive Ridley Turtle is the goodwill ambassador of the latest rendition of the 16-team event and the latest member of the Mascot-verse.

What does ‘Olly’ mean?

The Olive Ridley turtle gets its name from the olive green colour of its heart-shaped shell. The species is among the smallest of the world’s sea turtles and is found primarily in the tropical regions of the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic ocean and comes under highly endangered species. Lakhs of endangered Olive Ridley turtles flocked the Rushikulya river mouth for their annual mass nesting in Odisha’s Ganjam district. These endangered species flock to the place every year from the third week of February to the first week of March for nesting. Odisha is the largest mass nesting site for Olive Ridleys in the world.

Why ‘Olly’?

The mascot represents qualities like being STRATEGIST and WATCHFUL. The turtle’s outer shell also represents strength in a way that can withstand any extreme condition. These famed turtles are PATIENT and SHARP-EYED about their activities and thus emerge WINNERS in the end. Olly also signifies enormous aspiration, loyalty and hard work.

Some facts about the official mascot ‘Olly’.

  • It was in 2017 that Odisha unveiled Olly as the mascot of the Asian Athletics Championships. The Championship was the largest-ever sporting event successfully held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. Around 700 athletes from 45 Asian countries competed. Three persons were engaged to act as Olly, two inside the stadium and one outside.
  • Later that year, the Odisha government declared ‘Olly’ as the permanent mascot for all sports events, both national and international championships, to be held in the state.
  • Following this, Olly became the official mascot of the World Hockey League finals and Hockey World Cup held in Bhubaneswar. The tournaments ran from December 1 to 10, 2017, and November 24 to December 16, 2018, respectively.
  • In 2018, around 40 students of the Institute of Digital Media Technology, India (IDMT.In), a city-based institute, unveiled their version of the Hockey World Cup mascot ‘Olly’. They launched websites and social media handles to publicise the event widely. The group’s mascot wore a yellow cap with the caption ‘My heart beats for hockey’ written on it, a blue shirt and white pants with a hockey stick in its hand. The aim was to encourage the youth to take an interest in the turtles and hockey through animation and blogging.
  • The turtle lovers, researchers, wildlife activists and people of Kendrapara thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. This time for declaring Olive Ridley Sea Turtle as the official mascot for the 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.

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