Where did the Olympic Bear fly in 1980?
On August 3, 1980, the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games took place in Moscow, during which the talisman of the Olympics-80 - the Olympic Bear - was launched into the sky. With tears in his eyes to a song performed by Lev Leshchenko and Tatiana Antsiferova, he was escorted from the center of the arena of the Luzhniki stadium to Muscovites and guests of the capital.
The story of the creation of the mascot.
The story of creating an image of the Olympic Bear began in 1977, when a survey was conducted in the country through the program “In the Animal World” and the editorial office of the newspaper “Soviet Sport”, where the audience was offered to choose the symbol of the Olympics. Almost unanimously, preferences were given to the bear Misha. After approval of the mascot image, an order was made to the best artists of the country. The final version was made by an illustrator of children's books - Viktor Alexandrovich Chizhikov. His version among the 60 bears that reached the final was also liked by the President of the IOC of that time, Lord Kilanin. The organizing committee of the Moscow Olympiad chose this animal as a symbol, since it has such characteristic qualities for an athlete as strength,perseverance and courage.
A six-meter rubber talisman was created for the Olympic Games - the Olympic Mishka balloon. Initially, it was planned to be manufactured in Moscow at the Research Institute of the Rubber Industry, but due to the large dimensions of Mishka, the manufacturing process was moved to the branch of the Institute located in Zagorsk (now Sergiev Posad). Two trials were made for testing and contingency.
According to the organizers, the Olympic Mishka was supposed to fly high into the sky during the closing ceremony. In April 1979, work began on the project “Bear” in the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow at the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI). A group of scientists was tasked with raising the talisman in the air. Bear didn’t just have to fly up vertically over the stadium. Reaching a certain height (3.5 m from the top of the stands), he had to leave the stadium as soon as possible, without touching the bowl with the Olympic flame.
At first, engineer Alexander Trusov suggested abandoning the doll and dressing the man up in a bear costume, tying him to balloons inflated with helium.The test took place at the Moscow airfield Kubinka-2. Trusov himself went to the test and put on a suit (they made it at a fur toy factory in the Ukrainian city of Zhovti Vody) and set off to fly. The first flight was successful, after which it was decided to conduct the following experiment in conditions as close as possible to the required ones: twilight, a rise of 30 meters (the height of the Luzhniki stands). But this time, at a height of one hundred meters, the Olympic Mishka unexpectedly turned around, flew 50 meters, and then began to go up sharply, disappearing from sight.
After that, the engineers developed a system of so-called "carrying balls". Its essence was as follows: moving in a certain way, the balls contributed to the displacement of the center of gravity of the object (Bears), which, in turn, made it possible to control the direction of flight with a sufficient degree of accuracy. Moving in a certain way, the balloons shifted the center of gravity of the object in the right direction. The direction of flight should be controlled by the operator in the cockpit in the right hind paw. But on the test of this variant, the doll lost control, flew over the burning Olympic torch and flashed.Engineer Igor Artamonov, who was sitting in the cockpit, died from his burns. Then it was decided to fix the balls only on the upper paws and ears so that the bear would not roll over.
It is still not known for certain what happened to the Olympic Mishka after he left the Luzhniki arena on August evening in 1980 and disappeared into the sky. Whether he was a manned vehicle or just a huge rubber doll with balloons - no one knows for sure.
"The Olympic Bear is a symbol of the Moscow Olympiad. How much more charming and humane than the monotonously beautiful and purposeful poster" builders of communism "was! Pakhmutova and Dobronravov's song, even the most inveterate cynics had tears in their eyes. I didn’t know what happened next with such a cute Mishka, and he landed on the outskirts of Moscow, knocked down a beer booth, scaring to death two local uncles.Then for some time he was put up at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements, alongside other achievements of the Soviet national economy (record-setting cows, a monstrous tractor Kirovets and the Olympic Bear - there is something to be proud of the national economy!). At that time, one West German company offered to buy a rubber Bear for 100 thousand marks.
The story of the creation of the mascot.