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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

The Big Question: Where Izzy?

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

July 24, 1996|LISA DILLMAN

The mystery of Izzy, the disgraced mascot, continues to deepen.

Quite simply, where is Izzy? Gone to the rowing venue? Sent to Orlando on a goodwill soccer mission? Banished to the media transportation mall, the lowest rung on the Olympic ladder?

Izzy was at the airport when visitors were arriving for the Olympics, fortifying them for the credentialing chaos. Since then, no Izzy.

"I don't know where it is. That's a good question," said cabdriver Ken Chestnutt of Atlanta. "I personally think they're embarrassed. I think [the mascot] should have had something to do with a peach. It would have stood out better."

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, however, spotted Izzy on Tuesday afternoon at a women's basketball game, wandering around in the lobby near the food court.

"He looked despondent and didn't seem to be interacting with the non-Izzys," Ostler reported.

Cobi, the mascot in Barcelona in 1992, had a rough start but rallied by the second week.

Can Izzy come back?

Chestnutt thinks it was a mistake for Izzy to keep a low profile. "For it to be successful, it has to be seen," he said. "It has to be out there."

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