Three years may still be a long way off, but the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
are indeed coming. Hype is running high as their mascots were unveiled last night.
Behold, the first mascot is a chubby panda (uncharacteristic, we know) named Bing Dwen Dwen. Introduced in an elaborate animated video
, Bing is seen plunging down into the earth after a mysterious glowing orb from space. The orb later imbues it with an ice suit and some serious flexibility and winter sports skills. Think Kungfu Panda on skis.
While many on social media immediately warmed to the mascot, others weren't impressed. Some roasted the Olympic Committee's usual pick of a panda as uninventive and hardly energetic in winter. Some joked the 2022 Winter Olympics should consider either switching its host city to Chengdu
, or rebranding its name to the Summer Olympics
Compared to the panda, the Paralympic mascot was revealed in a rather traditional fashion. In another promo video
, a Chinese lantern comes to life as a joyous lantern baby called Shuey Rhon Rhon, which symbolises warmth, perseverance and courage. After watching the video, some were apparently left confused by its ambiguous shape, with many comparing it to the classic street food
The mascots were chosen from the bountiful talents of the public with 5,800 mascot entries from China and 35 other countries. Last August, the Olympic Committee called for submissions with the brief that the mascots should capture the spirit of the games as well as reflect Chinese culture.
We heeded that call last year at Time Out Beijing
, beings of infinite ingenuity and artistic competence that we are, and tried our hand at the art of mascot-design then. Though bummed to see it didn't make a lasting Olympic impression, we picked up an uncanny resemblance in our drawing after the winners were announced.
See how we stack up against the official mascots below:
Beep-beep, the ice-skating panda car.
An Olympic Teletubby which can pass as the Rhon Rhon’s doppelgänger.
And Wenming, a panda social-skier with magical chop-stick ski poles.