Home>News Center>China

Nation cuddles up to Olympic mascots
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-16 06:46

A panda cub went unnamed for 10 weeks waiting for their identities to be revealed. Children are being named after them. Anxious customers are packing department stores to get their hands on toys bearing their image.

What has caused this wave of mania to sweep the country? The mascots for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.


Bei Bei, Jing Jing, Huan Huan, Ying Ying and Ni Ni were unveiled last Friday, exactly 1,000 days before the event's opening ceremony.

The long-anticipated mascots, which symbolize four Chinese animals carp, panda, Tibetan antelope and swallow and the Olympic flame, were unveiled at a televised grand ceremony in Beijing, starting a marketing blitz that is expected to empty people's wallets in record fashion.

Matching the colours of the Olympic rings, when put together, the names of the five mascots translate as "Welcome to Beijing."

The day after the mascots were revealed, the giant panda breeding research base in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, named a 10-week-old female panda cub "Jing Jing" the same name as the panda mascot.

Born on August 30, the cub waited to be named in anticipation of the Olympic mascots.

"We hope she'll grow up healthily and witness the Beijing Olympiad. The mascot will bring her good luck," said a zoologist at the Chengdu breeding centre.

Researchers at the centre said they have posted Jing Jing's pictures and vital statistics at www.panda.org.cn. "Everyone can send her greetings online."

At birth, Jing Jing was 152 grams and now weighs 4,266 grams. Her mother, 15-year-old Ya Ya (Asia), was given her name because she was born in 1990, the year Beijing hosted the 11th Asian Games. Jing Jing's father was named "Ke Bi" by former International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

A bouncing Bei Bei boy

A baby boy born at 8:00 pm last Friday in Beijing has been named Bei Bei, after the carp mascot.

"My wife and I were watching the televised launch ceremony when the doctors said she should have a Caesarean section," said the baby's father, Hu.

"She came back to the ward with the newborn baby at the very moment the five mascots were announced."

Hu and his wife then agreed they would name the baby after one of the mascots.

Each of the Beijing Olympic mascots has a repeated two-syllable name a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Bei Bei is the Fish, Jing Jing is the Panda, Huan Huan is the Olympic Flame, Ying Ying is the Tibetan antelope and Ni Ni is the Swallow.

The unveiling of the five mascots ended a year-long competition between hundreds of candidates.
Page: 123

Xinjiang reports bird flu cases
Playing cards featuring 16 escaped criminals
President Hu in Spain
  Today's Top News     Top China News

China to vaccinate entire poultry stock



FM: Japan needs to learn from Germany



Hu Yaobang's birthday to be commemorated



Henan police deal 'most wanted' cards



Wider access for foreign miners promised



Nation cuddles up to Olympic mascots


  Truck hits jogging students, killing 20
  'US trade deficit with China to top US$200b'
  Cause of Jilin chemical plant blasts found
  4,000 unsafe coal mines to be closed
  Forum urges closer Sino-US relations
  Cultural relics to be protected
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Olympic mascots spark commercial blitz
Olympic mascots to help firms cash in
Beijing announces five Olympic mascots
Beijing unveils mascots for Olympics
Beijing finally unveils its Olympic mascots - five Fuwa
And the mascot for Beijing Olympics is ...
Tibetan antelope leads Olympic mascot race
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.