The Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has launched the events’ official mascots at a ceremony at the Shougang Ice Hockey Arena.
Chinese vice-premier Han Zheng, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, and the minister of the General Administration of Sport for China and Organising Committee president Gou Zhongwen jointly unveiled panda and lantern mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, respectively.
The panda is named Bing Dwen Dwen. In Mandarin, “bing” means ice and “dwen dwen” means robust and lively, characteristics associated with pandas in China. A coloured halo surrounding its face symbolises increased connectivity in the era of 5G high-speed internet connectivity.
The lantern mascot, named Shuey Rhon Rhon, has a glow emanating from its heart to symbolise “warmth, friendship, courage and perseverance”. The design holds extra significance because the Olympics will start three days after the Chinese New Year, when lanterns are commonly hung and carried in Chinese homes.
Bach said: “The mascots incorporate the best elements and characteristics of China and the Chinese people. What I can say already is that they will be wonderful ambassadors for China, and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”
The two mascots were chosen from more than 5,800 submissions in a global design competition that began last August. After a review by a committee of Chinese and international representatives, designs by teams from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and the Jilin University of the Arts were declared the winners.