16 January 2020
Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 — Olympic and Paralympic Mascots
Note: There are a lot of stamp-issuing entities from which it can be difficult to find timely official information. For many of these, I am reliant on social media such as Facebook or Twitter to learn of New Issues. While I’d heard about China’s Lunar New Year stamps for months, this attractive pair caught me unaware until I happened across a “coming tomorrow” post from a fellow collector. I suspect that China Post’s Newsroom will provide some information in the near future…
According to an article on Paralympic.org published on 17 September 2019, the mascots for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics to be held in Beijing in February and March 2022 were revealed n a glittering ceremony attended by more than 1,600 people at the Shougang Ice Hockey Arena on that date. The mascot design competition was launched on 8 August 2018 with a total of 5,816 designs received from 35 countries. These were reviewed by Chinese and international experts comprehensively before making the final selection ten shortlisted. The final Paralympic and Olympic mascots chosen were designed by teams from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and Jilin University of Arts, respectively.
Bing Dwen Dwen (冰墩墩) is the official mascot of the 2022 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIV Olympic Winter Games (Les XXIVes Jeux olympiques d’hiver in French and 第二十四届冬季奥林匹克运动会in Chinese, rendered in Pinyin as Dì Èrshísì Jiè Dōngjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì). The events are scheduled to take place from 4 to 20 February 2022, in Beijing and towns in the neighboring Hebei province, China. Beijing was elected as the host city in July 2015 and will be the first Winter Olympics ever to be held in China, the fourth Winter Olympics held in East Asia, and the last of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. With its previous hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing will be the first city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics: there are plans to utilize many of the same venues that were used for the 2008 Games, including its indoor venues, and Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest) as ceremonies venue. Beijing is also the second national capital to host the Winter Olympics, after Oslo, Norway in 1952.
The mascot Bing Dwen Dwen was designed by Cao Xue, Cao Xue, a chief designer at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. The giant panda, is often regarded as one main symbols of China. Its helmet is also indicative of the snow and ice of winter sports. The name Bing Dwen Dwen is a combination of several meanings in the Chinese language, with “Bing” the Chinese word for “ice”, and “Dwen Dwen” meaning robust and lively. A creature not known for its agility, the giant panda is encased in a stylized sports iced suit meant to make the animal appear more athletic and winterish. His main feature he has a heart of gold heart from gold and love to all winter sports, this panda is ready to share with the whole world true spirit of the Olympic Games. The mascot resembles an astronaut, embracing new and green technologies for a future with infinite possibilities. The bands of color around its face are meant to represent connectivity, energy, green, and advanced technologies.
In the presence of Chinese wheelchair curler Chen Jianxin and notable dignitaries during the announcement ceremonies, Shuey Rhon Rhon (雪容融) was introduced to the audience as the official mascot for the 2022 Winter Paralympics (第十三届冬季残疾人奥林匹克运动会), officially known as the XIII Paralympic Winter Games, an international winter multi-sport event for disabled athletes that is scheduled to take place in Beijing from 4 to 13 March 2022. Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Paralympics. These games will be the first Winter Paralympics held in China.
Shuey Rhon Rhon is a Chinese lantern child who is looking forward to welcome friends from around the globe for the mega event. Exuding positivity, the glow emanating from its heart symbolizes the inspiring warmth, friendship, courage, and perseverance of Para athletes that lights up the dreams of millions every day. Lanterns represent harvest, celebration, warmth and light. The wishful shape at the top symbolizes auspicious happiness. The continuous pattern of the dove of peace and the Temple of Heaven symbolize the peaceful friendship and highlights the characteristics of the place where the place is held. The decorative pattern incorporates the traditional Chinese paper-cut art. The snow on the face represents the meaning of “a fall of seasonable snow gives promise of a fruitful year” (瑞雪兆丰年 / Ruìxuě zhào fēngnián). It also reflects the anthropomorphic design and highlights the mascot’s cuteness. Shuey Rhon Rhon was designed by Jiang Yufan, an undergraduate majoring in product design at the Jilin Art Institute of Design.
“Shuey” has the same pronunciation as, the Chinese character for snow. The first “Rhon” in the mascot’s Chinese name means ‘to include, to tolerate’, while the second “Rhon” means ‘to melt, to fuse’ and ‘warm.’ The name expresses the well wish that there could be more inclusion for people with impairments more dialogue and understanding between cultures of the world.
Chen Jining, Mayor of Beijing and Executive President of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG), speaking on the occasion said: “The mascots carry the enthusiasm of 1.3 billion Chinese people towards Beijing 2022 and send warm invitations for people of the world to visit for the Games.”
IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “The Paralympic mascot Shuey Rhon Rhon will become the face of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games lighting up the lives of billions around the world who will watch in awe as Para athletes inspire and excite the world.”
Affirming Beijing 2022’s commitment to sustainability, many of the licensed mascot products to be on sale will be made with new environmentally friendly materials instead of plastic.
The Shougang Ice Hockey Arena where the mascot launch ceremony was held is a special and brand-new venue renovated from an old industrial facility. Shougang is one of the largest steel factories in China and shut down production in its Beijing plant before the 2008 Olympic Games for environmental reasons.
Shougang Industrial Park in the west of the city now houses BOCOG’s headquarters and is rapidly transforming into an avant-garde space filled with office buildings, museums, sports venues, and recreational facilities. Beijing 2022’s snowboard and freestyle skiing big air venue is also being built in the park, next to a lake and four cooling towers.
China released its first stamps commemorating the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics on 7 December 2019. According to China Daily, the stamps were “designed not in the regular quadrangle shape but feature distinctive octagonal angles and sides . . . to resemble the look of a traditional Chinese palace lantern. The design is set to deliver a festive mood as the Olympic Games will begin on Feb 4, 2022 during the normally week-long celebrations of the Chinese New Year that will fall on Feb 1, 2022. Each set of two stamps bear official emblems to represent the Games and Olympics volunteers.”