design

Beijing unveils new 'ice' panda mascot to promote 2022 Winter Games

Updated 18th September 2019
Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon, the mascots for the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Credit: International Olympic Committee
Beijing unveils new 'ice' panda mascot to promote 2022 Winter Games
Written by Jessie Yeung, CNN
Contributors Liu Baichuan, CNN
Beijing has released its mascot for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games -- a smiling giant panda wearing a suit made to resemble ice.
The panda is named Bing Dwen Dwen -- in Mandarin, "bing" means ice and "dwen dwen" means robust and lively, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
A creature not known for its agility, the giant panda is encased in a stylized sports helmet meant to "make the animal appear more athletic," Xinhua said.
The mascot also looks like an astronaut, which was no accident, according to a statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"The newly launched Olympic mascot resembles an astronaut, embracing new technologies for a future with infinite possibilities," the statement said. The bands of color around its face are meant to represent "connectivity and advanced technologies," it added.
Beijing also revealed the mascot for the Paralympics, a lantern child called "Shuey Rhon Rhon" whose name represents "warmth, friendship, courage and perseverance."
The lantern design holds extra significance because the Olympics will start three days after Chinese New Year, when lanterns are commonly hung and carried, Xinhua said.
The mascots of the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were unveiled in a ceremony in Beijing on September 17, 2019.
The mascots of the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were unveiled in a ceremony in Beijing on September 17, 2019. Credit: Xinyu Cui/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
The two mascots were revealed in Beijing on Tuesday at a ceremony attended by Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and IOC President Thomas Bach.
"Everywhere you go, you can feel the excitement and the anticipation that the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 are generating already," said Bach at the ceremony, according to the IOC statement.
"The mascot incorporates the best elements and characteristics of China and the Chinese people. What I can say already is that it will be a wonderful ambassador for China and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022."
Chen Jining, the executive president of Beijing 2022, described the mascots as combining "traditional Chinese culture and a modern international style," according to Xinhua.
The unveiling ceremony also featured performances from dancers and children dressed as the two mascots. Photos from the event show a sea of children dressed head-to-toe in panda costumes and paw-like mittens.
Olympic mascot Bing Dwen Dwen with children dressed as pandas at a ceremony in Beijing's Shougang Ice Hockey Arena on September 17, 2019.
Olympic mascot Bing Dwen Dwen with children dressed as pandas at a ceremony in Beijing's Shougang Ice Hockey Arena on September 17, 2019. Credit: Xinyu Cui/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
The two mascots were chosen from more than 5,800 submissions in a global design competition that began last August. After being reviewed by a committee of Chinese and international representatives, Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon, created by teams from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and Jilin University of the Arts respectively, were declared the winners.
"We had two daily meetings --- the morning one for brainstorming followed by creation, and the evening one for making decisions," said Liu Pingyun, who helped design Bing Dwen Dwen, in a statement posted online by Guangdong Province's Department of Education.
According to Liu, the design team submitted 16 proposals. The rings of color on the panda's face was inspired by a similar aesthetic in the newly-built National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, and represents "futuristic concepts."
Beijing also hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008 -- the mascots then had been the Fuwa, five colorful dolls whose names collectively mean "Beijing welcomes you."
Apart from Beijing, many Olympics events will also take place in the district of Chongli in Hebei province, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) northwest.