Why do Olympic mascots always, always suck?

Comics, movies, videogames, and TV shows all know their way around good character design — so how come the Olympics, decade after decade, commission the worst characters ever foisted upon millions? The recently unveiled London 2012 "things" are just...look.

Summer 2012
London, United Kingdom
Wenlock and Mendeville, "drops of steel with cameras for eyes"

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Winter 2010
Vancouver, Canada
Sumi, Quatchi, and Miga: sea bear, sasquatch, and marmot

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Summer 2008
Beijing, China
The Fuwa: Beibei (fish), Jingjing (giant panda), Huanhuan (Olympic flame), Yingying (Tibetan antelope), Nini (swallow)

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Winter 2006
Turin, Italy
Neve and Gliz, snowball and ice cube

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Summer 2004
Athens, Greece
Athena and Phevos, "brother" and "sister"

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Winter 2002
Salt Lake City, United States
Powder, Copper, Coal: snowshoe hare, coyote, and bear (okay, these guys are kinda cute)

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Summer 2000
Sydney, Australia
Ollie, Syd, and Millie: kookaburra, platypus, and echnidna

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Winter 1998
Nagano, Japan
The Snowlets: Sukki, Nokki, Lekki, and Tsukki

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Summer 1996
Atlanta, United States
Izzy, a...something

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Winter 1994
Lillehammer, Norway
Kristin and Hakon, human children

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Summer 1992
Barcelona, Spain
Cobi, a Catalan sheepdog in a suit

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Winter 1992
Albertville, France
Magique, a "man-star"

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Summer 1988
Seoul, South Korea
Hodori, a tiger cub

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Winter 1988
Calgary, Canada
Hidy and Howdy, polar bears

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Summer, 1984
Los Angeles, United States
Sam, an eagle

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Winter 1984
Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Vucko, a wolf

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Summer 1980
Moscow, U.S.S.R.
Misch, a bear cub

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Winter 1980
Lake Placid, United States
Roni, a very sad raccoon

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Summer 1976
Montreal, Canada
Amik, a beaver

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Winter 1976
Innsbruck, Austria
Schneemann, a snowman

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Summer 1972
Munich, West Germany
Waldi, a dachshund

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Winter 1968
Grenoble, France
Schuss, a skier

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