Beijing 2008: Five Mascots For The Beijing Games
The Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 (BOCOG) has launched the five official mascots for the Beijing Games at a gala show, in the Chinese capital, held to mark the 1,000-day countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the Games. The five mascots are officially called the Five Friendlies. They are Beibei, the fish; Jingjing, the panda; Huanhuan, the Olympic flame; Yingying, the Tibetan antelope; and Nini, the swallow. The first syllables from their two-syllable names form a line that reads “Beijing Huanying Ni”, or in English – “Welcome to Beijing”. The mascot’s colours were chosen in line with the colours of the Olympic rings.
Traditional Chinese Blessings
In the ancient culture of China, there is a great tradition of spreading blessings through signs and symbols. Each of the mascots symbolises a different blessing and will honour this ancient tradition by bringing their blessings to the children of the world. Beibei represents the blessing of prosperity, Jingjing the blessing of happiness, Huanhuan the blessing of passion, Yingying the blessing of health and Nini the blessing of good luck.
A Message Of Friendship
Commenting on the launch of the mascots, in a message read at the mascot launch, IOC President Rogge said, “The Five Friendlies are an incredible little family, chosen carefully by Beijing 2008 to represent all of China and to carry a message of friendship to the children of the world.” He added, “I love them all. And I am delighted that they will carry traditional Chinese blessings all over the world. I believe that this little group of friends – the fish, the panda, the flame, the antelope and the swallow – will be extremely popular and will help to spread Olympic messages throughout the world.”
Gift To The World
The President of BOCOG, Liu Qi, said, “The mascots are a special gift that Beijing presents to the world and to the Olympic Movement.” He continued, “The mascots, together with the official emblem and slogan of the Beijing Olympic Games, express Chinese people’s wishes for peace, friendship, progress and harmony.”
The launch of the mascots is part of BOCOG’s celebrations to mark the 1,000 days to go before the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Games. The 1,000 days mark is on 12 November 2005 and it will see a series of cultural and sporting events held across Beijing, in its 18 urban districts and suburban counties, encouraging mass participation. There will also be events held in Qingdao, Hong Kong and Sichuan and Qinghai provinces.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 August 2008 until 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.
Learn more on the Mascots (Official website Beijing 2008)