Misha (the Olympic Mishka) served as the mascot of the XXII Olympics. The character was authored by Victor Chizhikov, a book illustrator. The bear was chosen to serve as a symbol of the Olympics because of the qualities which make a sportsman, strength, persistence and courage. Historically, the bear has been a character of Russian folktales, it is an enduring symbol of the Russian nature.
During the closing ceremony of the 1980 Games, an inflatable aerostat of Misha’s figure, 19,6 feet high, supported by air balloons slowly flew away into the Moscow sky from the centre of the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Complex. The site where the rubber hero landed remained unknown for certain.
Sculptor Filipp Rukavishnikov