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Mass entries vie for 2008 Olympic mascot
Updated: 2004-12-14 21:51

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) said yesterday that its campaign to select an Olympic mascot has entered the appraisal stage with the mascot expected to be unveiled in June next year.

The BOCOG said on its website that by December 1, the deadline for submission, it had received a total of 662 valid entries from home and abroad. Thirty-seven designs came from overseas, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the UK and the United States.

"A final winner will come out next June before it gets approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the BOCOG completes trademark registration for it," the BOCOG said in a press release.

Since the BOCOG unveiled the seal-like emblem in the form of a Chinese character last year, the mascot has been keenly anticipated.

"Most of the works display the characteristics of Chinese culture and draw on the successful elements of previous Olympic mascots," the BOCOG said.

The mascot was first introduced to the Olympic Games at the 1972 Munich Games.

The BOCOG confirmed the giant panda, China's most treasured native animal, the Tibetan antelope and the "Monkey King," the widely beloved figure of China's noted classical work "Journey to the West," are among the designs up for the ultimate prize.

However, officials played down their chances, citing intellectual property rights.

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