On June 27 2014, the PyeongChang 2018 organising committee introduced the world to the mascots of the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Game - Soohorang (Korean: 수호랑), the white tiger and Bandabi (Korean: 반다비), the Asiatic black bear.
In mythology, the white tiger was viewed as a guardian that helped protect the country and its people. The mascot’s colour also evokes its connection to the snow and ice of winter sports.
The name “Soohorang” has additional significance. “Sooho,” the Korean word for “protection”, alludes to the protection of athletes, spectators and other Games participants.
“Rang” derives from the Korean word “ho-rang-i”, which means “tiger”. “Rang” also appears in “Jeongseon Arirang”, the traditional folk music of Gangwon Province, where PyeongChang is located. Soohorang, has a challenging spirit and passion but also is a trustworthy friend who protects the athletes, spectators and all participants in the Olympic Games.
Bandabi is an Asiatic black bear, who symbolises strong will and courage. A warm-hearted friend, Bandabi promotes equality and harmony and encourages athletes to push themselves beyond their limits.
“Banda” is derived from “ban-dal,” the Korean word for the half-moon. “Bi” stands for celebration of the Games.
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