International Ice Hockey Federation

Meet Soohorang

Meet Soohorang

Mascot for PyeongChang 2018 presented

Published 15.08.2018 16:14 GMT+11 | Author Martin Merk
Meet Soohorang
Soohorang will serve as mascot for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The mascots for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympics in PyeongChang, Korea, were presented.

Soohorang will delight hockey fans at the next Winter Olympics. By selecting a white tiger, the organizer chose an animal closely associated with Korean mythology and culture. The tiger has been a familiar figure in Korean folk tales as a symbol of trust, strength and protection. 

Tigers traditionally represent the shape of the Korean peninsula, and especially the white tiger is considered a sacred guardian animal in Korean mythology 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. 

“It’s a beautiful animal, strongly associated with Korean culture,” said Gunilla Lindberg, the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. “It also symbolises the close link between the Olympic Winter Games and the natural environment. I’m sure the new mascot will be very popular with Koreans and people around the world.” 

An Asiatic black bear named Bandabi will be the mascot for the 2018 Paralympics. 

The mascots are designed to express a wide spectrum of emotions such as passion, joy, enthusiasm and love to actively engage the public, the organizer announces. This type of design reflects Korea’s unique contemporary cultural trend of using visual characters to express emotions. 

“The mascots have been designed to embody the collective will of everyone for the successful hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018, and experts of various fields contributed in the process,” says Hee-beom Lee, President of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG). 

“The mascots will now spearhead our communication activities and marketing initiatives. With today’s meaningful step forward, POCOG will use the momentum to gain more public support and excitement for the Games.” 

Following this announcement, POCOG will hold launching ceremonies in July to introduce Soohorang and Bandabi in Seoul and PyeongChang. The mascots will make their international debut at the PyeongChang 2018 House during the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and continue their busy schedule by traveling all around Korea attending many events and exhibitions. 

– with files from the IOC and POCOG


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