Buenos Aires 2018 today unveiled the official mascot of this year’s Youth Olympic Games. Named #Pandi, it is inspired by the jaguar, one of the most emblematic wild cat species found in northern Argentina.
Ahead of today’s unveiling, jaguar footprints were seen across Buenos Aires and on online platforms. A short animation finally revealed the identity of #Pandi as it made its way across the city, demonstrating its athletic prowess before reaching the iconic Obelisco, the location of the Opening Ceremony.
According to the local organisers, #Pandi symbolises the desire for Buenos Aires 2018, the first edition of an Olympic celebration with strict gender equality, to serve as an important source of inspiration to build a better world through sport.
"Just as the young athletes give their best to qualify for the Games, the Buenos Aires 2018 mascot aims to inspire young people with the transformative power of Olympism and sport," said the President of the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee, Gerardo Werthein.
The Youth Olympic mascots play a fundamental role in spreading the event's message and the Olympic values of friendship, respect, and excellence among different audiences, especially young fans and athletes.
The jaguar, found in Argentina's northern region, is an endangered species, and Buenos Aires 2018 hopes to raise awareness about the species’ risk of extinction through this mascot choice.