hina has unveiled its mascot for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and guess what? It’s a panda.
Introducing Bing Dwen Dwen (冰墩墩). He has a suit of ice, heart of gold, love of all winter sports, and eyes that peer into the depths of your soul.
Bing is being celebrated as a combination of “traditional Chinese culture and Olympic Games in modern design” and apparently some thought did actually go into making him. Here’s how Xinhua describes the mascot:
Bing Dwen Dwen, combining the image of panda and ice crystal to reflect characteristics of winter sports, is legacy with glory from previous international competitions in China.
Colorful decoration above Bing Dwen Dwen’s head is inspired by the National Speed Skating Oval known as the “Ice Ribbon”, venue for speed skating of Beijing 2022. Bright colors and flowing lines signify track and 5G technology, and exterior appearance of the mascot’s head derives from helmet in winter sports.
Based on China’s iconic animal, Bing Dwen Dwen shows vitality of life through its modern design and sense of technology.
Ice crystal surrounding Bing Dwen Dwen tells about the feature of winter sports. Olympic spirit is also transmitted through panda’s power.
Beijing has even concocted a trippy origin story for Bing who received superpowers via colorful space magic, setting a questionable example for children regarding exploring ice caverns.
— Beijing 2022 (@Beijing2022) September 17, 2019
While some netizens have hailed Bing as “cute,” others are less impressed, sighing about China rolling out yet another panda mascot. Others have criticized the design, saying that Bing looks like he’s been wrapped in a condom.
Anyway, let’s just hope Bing fares better than the 2008 Beijing Olympic mascots, the Fuwa, who ended up being disowned by their creator and blamed for bringing natural disasters upon the country.
Meanwhile, Beijing has also unveiled the mascot of the Paralympic Winter Games in Shuey Rhon Rhon (雪容融 – btw, it’s unclear why they’ve decided to totally forgo pinyin). Shuey is a Spring Festival lantern come to life.