Soohorang and Bandabi

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Soohorang and Bandabi
Soohorang and Bandabi.svg
Soohorang (left), the mascot of the Olympics, and Bandabi (right), the mascot of the Paralympics
Mascots of the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Winter Paralympics (Pyeongchang)
SignificanceA white tiger and an Asiatic black bear
Soohorang and Bandabi
수호랑 and 반다비
Revised RomanizationSuhorang and Bandabi
McCune–ReischauerSuhorang and Pandabi

Soohorang (Korean: 수호랑) is the official mascot of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Bandabi (Korean: 반다비) is the official mascot of the 2018 Winter Paralympics. Both events were held in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, South Korea.[1][2] Soohorang is a white tiger and Bandabi is an Asiatic black bear.[3] The mascots were selected through a national tender process held in 2014 and were approved of by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on June 2, 2016.


On June 27, 2014, the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee notified the public of their mascot selection contest.[4] The selection process took place from September 15, 2014 to September 30, 2014. On June 2, 2016, the International Olympic Committee approved the mascots for the games.[5]


Horang-i (tiger) and Kkachi (magpie)


Soohorang is the mascot of the 2018 Winter Olympics. "Sooho" means "protection" in Korean, symbolizing the protection offered to the athletes, participants and spectators at the Winter Olympics, as well as preserving the world peace that is the spirit of the Olympic Games. "Rang" derives from "Ho-rang-i", the Korean word for "tiger"; it is also the last letter of "Jeongseon Arirang", a cherished traditional Korean folk song of Gangwon Province.[6][7]

Soohorang took its motif from the white tiger, known as "baekho" in Korean, which is considered to be Korea’s sacred guardian animal. Its colour is also indicative of the snow and ice of winter sports.

Tigers have long been a notable aspect of Korean folklore and culture. Baekho, the white tiger, is described in myths and narratives as a divine imaginary animal that watches over the mountains and nature. A cultural symbol for prosperity and protection, Baekho is revered as a god who cares for humanity, praying for the peace and well-being of the village in Korean folklore, while maintaining the continuity of Hodori which was the mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.[7] It has also been noted that Baekho is in harmony with the Winter Games that take place in "the white fields of snow".[8]

In summary, Soohorang is full of "passion and enthusiasm" and "a strong personality that protects the people who participate in the Olympics."[6]


Bandabi is the mascot of the 2018 Winter Paralympics.[6][7] It is a symbol of will and courage. "Banda" means "half-moon" or a "half-moon beast", and "bi" means to celebrate the competition.[6]

Bandabi is a warm-hearted friend who "has strong will and courage, is at the forefront of equality and harmony," and supports the enthusiasm of the players in the Paralympics so that they can overcome their limitations.[6]

Bandabi also has a continuity with Gomdoori, which was a mascot at the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul.[9]



Soohorang and Bandabi are available as animated emoticons in KakaoTalk, a popular messaging, texting, or communication application in South Korea.[3]


The public reception to the mascots has been described as overwhelmingly positive. According to Hannah Keyser, a writer for sports news website Deadspin, the mascots could be found "everywhere" during the Olympics, and they were "surprisingly universally beloved".[10] Dan McQuade, another writer for Deadspin, commented that it will be difficult for the Tokyo 2020 mascots to match the popularity of Soohorang and Bandabi.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Official Mascots for PyeongChang 2018". Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  2. ^ PyeongChang 2018 First Episode of Mascot Animation Video. YouTube. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Pyeongchang2018. "PyeongChang 2018 Mascots Emoticonized in Free Texting Service". The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  4. ^ "2018평창동계올림픽대회 및 장애인동계올림픽대회 마스코트 아이디어 공모".
  5. ^ "Meet "Soohorang," the New Mascot for PyeongChang 2018". Olympics. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e "마스코트 | 2018 평창 동계올림픽대회 및 동계패럴림픽대회". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  7. ^ a b c "평창동계올림픽 마스코트는 백호(白虎) '수호랑'" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  8. ^ "평창동계올림픽 마스코트, 백호 형상화한 '수호랑' 확정" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  9. ^ "[카드뉴스] 올림픽의 얼굴, 마스코트에 숨은 비밀" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  10. ^ a b McQuade, Dan (28 February 2018). "Will Japan's Olympic Mascot Be A Soohorang Or An Izzy?". Deadspin. Gizmodo Media Group. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Olympic mascot

Pyeongchang 2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paralympic mascot

Pyeongchang 2018
Succeeded by