Oregon 2022 mascot reunited with stolen head as police locate photographer culprit

Legend the Bigfoot, the official World Championships mascot, had head stolen from Oregon venue

He stands 7ft tall, has a giant yellow face and has become a huge breakout star at the World Athletics Championships with his crowd-pleasing antics.

But there were few smiles to be seen at Hayward Field on Monday evening when police were called after the head of Legend the Bigfoot, the official mascot in Eugene, was stolen by an accredited photographer.

It came just hours after Bigfoot had spent hours going through his repertoire of tricks that included forward rolling down 30 stairs, bathing in the steeplechase water in a rubber dinghy and dancing and high-fiving the crowd.

Shortly after the theft videos emerged on social media showing unidentified men joking as they played around with Bigfoot’s yellow head. However, they were no longer laughing when police tracked down the culprit with the help of CCTV and another photographer.


Last night organisers stated: “We can confirm that an accredited photographer was removed from Hayward Field in connection to the investigation of a theft at the venue. This is now a police matter, and we won’t have further comments at this time.”

Organisers chose the mascot to reflect that for centuries in Portland there were stories of a mysterious creature roaming the region. It came to be known as Bigfoot.

Earlier this year, the CEO of the organising committee, Sarah Massey, said: “Legend represents the region, appeals to a wide audience, is unique, and upholds the ‘big’ and ‘legendary’ monikers of the event. Additionally, the physicality of Bigfoot being powerful, swift and nimble falls in line with the very nature of the sport.”

It is not the first time that police have been called to Hayward Field during these championships. On Saturday, Rana Reider, a renowned US sprint coach who is under investigation for sexual misconduct was cautioned by police in Eugene after gaining unauthorised access to the athlete warm-up area before the world 100m final. - Guardian