Beijing unveils mascots for Olympics
Updated: 2005-11-11 21:12
After years of fierce lobbying and months of secrecy, Beijing unveiled five
mascots for the 2008 Olympics on Friday, opening a marketing blitz that is
expected to reap record profits.
Beijing unveiled five mascots for the 2008
Olympics on Friday-five cartoon renditions of a panda, fish, Tibetan
antelope, swallow and the Olympic flame.
In an elaborate, nationally televised gala at a Beijing sports arena to mark
the 1,000-day countdown until the Games, senior Chinese leaders introduced the
mascots — cartoon renditions of a panda, fish, Tibetan antelope, swallow and the
Olympic flame, each one the color of one of the Olympic rings.
"The five friendlies are an incredible little family carefully chosen by
Beijing 2008 to represent all of China to carry a message of friendship to the
children of the world," International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge
said in a statement that was read at the ceremony.
"China is so lucky to have so many beautiful animals to represent the Olympic
spirit," Rogge said.
The animals were introduced as Bei Bei, Jing Jing, Huan Huan, Ying Ying and
Ni Ni — which, put together, translates to "Beijing welcomes you!"
It is the most number of mascots any Olympic Games has had in more than 30
years. The Salt Lake City and Sydney Games both had three.