Sport 12:39 19/09/2019 World

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic mascots unveiled

An animated giant panda named "Bing Dwen Dwen" and a red lantern baby called "Shuey Rhon Rhon" have been unveiled as the two mascots for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The mascots, revealed on Tuesday night at Beijing's Shougang Ice Hockey Arena, are strongly associated with the host nation's culture, Xinhua reports. 

Among those attending the launch ceremony were Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Beijing 2022 executive president Chen Jining explained the idea behind the design of the two mascots at the launch ceremony.

"The two mascots combine elements of traditional Chinese culture and a modern international style, as well as emphasizing the characteristics of ice and snow sports, and those of the host city. They vividly show the Chinese people's eager expectations for the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and China's warm invitation to friends from all over the world," said Chen, who is also the mayor of Beijing.

"They are designed to express the full spectrum of the Olympic spirit, encompassing traits such as passion, perseverance, friendship and mutual understanding to actively engage the public."

IOC President Bach expressed his delight at the design of the Olympic mascot.

"From what I have seen, I can say that it is a great choice. The mascot incorporates the best elements and characteristics of China and the Chinese people," Bach said at the ceremony.

"It will be a wonderful ambassador for China and the Olympic Games Beijing 2022," he added.

The giant panda, which will be the Olympic mascot, is often regarded as a symbol of China. Its helmet is also indicative of the snow and ice of winter sports.

The name "Bing Dwen Dwen" is a combination of several meanings in the Chinese language, with "Bing" the Chinese word for "ice", and "Dwen Dwen" meaning robust and lively.

The Paralympic mascot choice of the lantern is seen as "symbolic of harvest, warmth and light". In the name "Shuey Rhon Rhon", "Shuey" is the Chinese word for "snow" and "Rhon Rhon" has the duel meaning of tolerance and integration.

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