If an activist group calling themselves the MukMuk Mascoteers has their way, the virtual critter will achieve official mascot status for the remainder of the Olympics.
Organizers led a nearly 20-person rally yesterday afternoon around the Vancouver Art Gallery, chanting slogans of “marmots have feelings too” and “free MukMuk now.”
The group attracted quite the crowd of onlookers — about 50 people — who were in the area taking pictures of the countdown clock and the mural currently wrapping the gallery.
“We are just a group of people having a great time at the Olympics,” said Shantel Shave, co-ordinator of the MukMuk Mascoteers.
“We just wanted to get out there, add a bit more fun and make sure this doesn’t happen to sidekicks in the future.”
While yesterday’s rally was planned over the past week, support for MukMuk — who represents the endangered marmot population of Vancouver Island — has been building since 2008 when the official Olympic mascots, Quatchi, Miga and Sumi, were announced.
Originally, MukMuk was meant to remain an online-based sidekick to the big three, but overwhelming public support forced VANOC to put MukMuk on official Olympic merchandise.