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Izzy, the Olympic mascot for the '96 games, will have a "series of animated specials" that will debut next spring. A financial backer has guaranteed three shows, but the Olympic committee would like a "longer run if they can find funding." Lunch boxes, backpacks, action figures, and video games will hit the stores following the series. Film Roman, the "North Hollywood animation studio who is responsible for The Simpsons," will produce the show. "The Great Adventures of Izzy" will be offered in the syndicated market and each show will cost an estimated $1.3M for production and air time (Turner & Pousner, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/24).
Olympic officials were "forced to concede problems" in their first test event. The top finishers in the Pan Am Race Walk Cup said the hilly course is very likely to cause injuries and disqualifications in '96 (Jerry Schwartz, NEW YORK TIMES, 9/24)....Tomorrow the USOC and CBS will unveil a series of taped messages featuring an anti-violence theme for kids and families with Bonnie Blair, Tommy Moe and Kritsi Yamaguchi (THE DAILY)....The NHL and the IIHF will get the top pros in the '98 games without "idling the whole league for a month." They will seed the six top hockey nations and give them the first week off while 12 unseeded teams play for two spots. "Since the All-Star Game would be canceled, clubs would be out of action for only a week" (John Powers, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/24).