POSTED: June 3rd 2016

Olympics: POCOG unveils mascots for PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games

PyeongChang 2018 Mascots © POCOG
PyeongChang 2018 Mascots © POCOG

PyeongChang 2018 Honorary Ambassador, Yuna Kim with PyeongChang 2018 Mascots © POCOG
PyeongChang 2018 Honorary Ambassador, Yuna Kim with PyeongChang 2018 Mascots © POCOG

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) have unveiled their official mascots "Soohorang," a white tiger and "Bandabi," an Asiatic black bear. Both animals are closely associated with Korean folklore and culture and appear in Korea's foundation mythology. "Soohorang" will represent the 2018 Olympic Games and "Bandabi" will represent the 2018 Paralympic Games.

The finalization of the mascots occurred after POCOG presented them to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board and approval had already been given by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The white tiger is considered a sacred guardian animal and its color are indicative of the ice and snow of winter sports. "Soohorang" is a combination of numerous meanings in Korean. The Korean word for "sooho" is "protection," meaning it will protect all spectators, participants, and athletes of the Games. "Rang" is the last letter of "Jeongseon Arirang," traditional music of the Gangwon Province. It also is from the middle letter of "ho-rang-i," which means "tiger."

"The white tiger is a great choice for mascot. It's a beautiful animal, strongly associated with Korean culture. It also symbolizes the close link between the Olympic Winter Games and the natural environment. I congratulate the PyeongChang 2018 team on their selection. I'm sure the new mascot will be very popular with Koreans and people around the world," commented Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Gunilla Lindberg.

As for the bear, it is symbolic of courage and strong will and the Asiatic black bear is a symbol animal of the Gangwon Province. The name "Bandabi" is also a combination of meanings. "Bandal" is from "bandal," which means "half-moon" that is indicated by the white crescent on the bear's chest. While "bi" means the celebration of the Games.

"I am delighted to welcome 'Bandabi' to the Paralympic Family of mascots. Over the coming months 'Bandabi' will represent the spirit of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and help to convey the Paralympic vision and values to millions of people all around the world," expressed IPC President, Sir Philip Craven.

Both mascots are designed to actively engage the public and express emotions, including love, joy, enthusiasm, and passion. Everyone will be able to use the mascots to promote PyeongChang 2018 through interactive communication.

POCOG President, Lee Hee-beom stated, "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. 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."

Official launching ceremonies will take place in July at PyeongChang and Seoul. Their international debut will happen during the Rio Games at the PyeongChang 2018 House. Afterward, they will travel all over Korea to attend exhibitions and events.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · POCOG · PyeongChang 2018 · Olympics · Paralympics · Winter Games · Olympic Games · Paralympic Games

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