Spaced-out panda is mascot for 2022 Winter Olympics

Society & Culture

Bing Dwen Dwen, a panda in a spacesuit, and Shuey Rhon Rhon, a literal red baby lantern, were chosen as the mascots of the next Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing and Zhangjiakou in 2022.

The mascots were unveiled in a ceremony at a hockey arena last night. It was a thing:

Also present was Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who tried to interact with children — with mixed results, judging by this photo:

Xinhua quotes Beijing 2022 executive president Chen Jining as saying:

“The two mascots combine elements of traditional Chinese culture and a modern international style, as well as emphasizing the characteristics of ice and snow sports, and those of the host city. They vividly show the Chinese people’s eager expectations for the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and China’s warm invitation to friends from all over the world,” said Chen, who is also the mayor of Beijing.

“They are designed to express the full spectrum of the Olympic spirit, encompassing traits such as passion, perseverance, friendship and mutual understanding to actively engage the public.”

The mascots themselves seem nice enough, as far as these things go: kid-friendly, non-offensive, colorful. Hard to hate. I mean, the panda’s left palm is a heart. Disapprove at the risk of being called a monster.

As for the corrupt-ass IOC, the prodigiously wasteful nature of modern Olympic Games, the avalanche of Olympics-related propaganda you’ll be buried under even as organizers implore everyone to “not politicize sports”… fire away.