Olympic mascots and their meanings

POSTED: 08:04 AM PDT Jul 16, 2012    UPDATED: 10:01 PM PDT Aug 09, 2016 

With the Olympics underway, get to know the Rio Games' mascot Vinicius as well as the past four decades of Olympic mascots.

2016 Summer Olympics mascot
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Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

With the 2016 Summer Olympics underway, look back at four decades of Olympic mascots and their meanings, starting with Vinicius, the mascot for the Rio Games. Vinicius is a representation of Brazilian wildlife, including "the agility of cat, the balancing skills of a monkey and the grace of a bird," and symbolizes the "energy and joie de vivre exuded by the Brazilian people." Vinicius was named after famed Brazilian artist Vinicius de Moraes.

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