A chubby, lovable panda with a charming smile will be walking around Beijing for the next few weeks, serving as the official mascot for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Named “Bing Dwen Dwen,” the mascot sports a full body shell of ice like an astronaut suit, which helps it skate alongside athletes. Bing attempts to embody the strength and willpower of athletes while promoting the Olympic spirit. “Bing” means ice and “Dwen Dwen” represents children in Mandarin.
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The giant panda is also aptly China’s national animal, and a panda was among the five mascots the last time the Olympics were held in Beijing in 2008.
“Shuey Rhon Rhon,” a Chinese lantern child, will serve as the mascot for the 2022 Winter Paralympics. Also designed by Cao, Shuey is made from traditional Chinese paper cutting and Ruyi ornaments.
Shuey’s heart releases a glow, symbolizing the friendship and courage of Paralympic athletes.
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“Shuey” means snow, while “Rhon” has two meanings: to include and tolerate, and to melt, fuse or warm. The combined meanings are an attempt to highlight inclusion, and call for greater dialogue and understanding between different cultures.