A white tiger named “Soohorang” and an Asiatic black bear named “Bandabi”
have been chosen the official mascots for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The mascots were finalized after the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee’s presented the mascot to the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne and the IPC’s prior approval of the Paralympic mascot.
“The mascots are designed to express a wide spectrum of emotions such as passion, joy, enthusiasm and love to actively engage the public. This type of design reflects Korea’s unique contemporary cultural trend of using visual characters to express emotions. Anyone and everyone will be able to use the mascots across a multiple choice of digital platforms and promote the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games through interactive communication” explains an POCOG press release.
“Both animals appear in Korea’s foundation mythology and are closely associated with Korean culture and folklore. Tigers traditionally represent the shape of the Korean peninsula, and especially the white tiger is considered a sacred guardian animal. Its color is also indicative of the snow and ice of winter sports…The bear is symbolic of strong will and courage. The Asiatic Black Bear is also the symbol animal of Gangwon Province. In the name “Bandabi,” “banda” comes from “bandal” meaning “half-moon”,
indicating the white crescent on the chest of the Asiatic Black Bear, and “bi” has the meaning of celebrating the Games.”
“The mascots have been designed to embody the collective will of everyone for the successful hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018, and experts of various fields contributed in the process,” said POCOG President Hee-beom Lee, “The mascots will now spearhead our communication activities and marketing initiatives. With today’s meaningful step forward, POCOG will use the momentum to gain more public support and excitement for the Games.”
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.