Budapest, Hungary – On Monday, Hungary unveiled its mascot for the 2020 European Water Polo Championships that will be held in Budapest this January. Based on the old popular Hungarian cartoon character Vízipók, the life-size costume of the famous water spider has since then been ridiculed and mocked by the press and online, with some even calling it an “embarassement for Hungary”.
“It is hard to understand how the organizers approved a creature in a thong blowing a bubble of air from its buttocks”, reacted 24.hu.
In the Hungarian cartoon, the water spider Vízipók has an air bubble attached to its body that helps him breath underwater, much like an actual water spider, which is the only species of spider known to live almost entirely under water.
“Hey, look, it’s the creature from my nightmares”, reads a comment online. “This is like a science experiment gone very wrong, just put it out of its misery”, says another. The ridiculous costume also sparked many memes online.
The Hungarian Water Polo Association has since then released a statement admitting its mistake, saying that the mascot will be redesigned by “sober” designers who can function “without hallucinogenic substances”.
This is actually the second time in recent years that a Hungarian mascot has been so unanimously mocked. Back in 2017, the mascot for the World Aquatics Championship, named “Bol-Dog”, which is a pun on the Hungarian word for “happy”, was compared to a “ghost of a murdered Lhasa Apso” and said to have “no soul”.
It had been quickly replaced.
The European Water Polo Championships will take place on 12-26 January 2020 in Budapest, for an unparalleled fifth time.
“The Water Polo European Championships occupy a special place in the heart of our country, as we will never forget that in 1926 this well-known event was launched in Budapest” said Hungarian Water Polo Federation President Attila Vari, two-time Olympic champion.
“And after having experienced the miracle as a host in 1958, 2001 and 2014, we will be demonstrating our commitment to water polo for the fifth time in 2020, the fifth time to welcome the best of the continent in our wonderful capital, the fifth time with LEN we can promote this great sport”, he added.
Time for Hungary to find a new Water Polo mascot then…