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2008 Beijing Olympic Mascot

Posted July. 17, 2003 21:36,   


Monkey King, the legend of the Chinese Literature Monkey King, or Sun Wukong has emerged as one of the most likely candidates for the icon of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. “The Monkey King Research Circle of the National Society of Chinese Classic Literature Studies has decided to recommend the Monkey King as the mascot for the coming Beijing Olympics and launched a promotion campaign for the images of the fabled Monkey through TV soap operas, and pictorials while searching for character designs of the Monkey King through public announcements,” Chinese Media reported yesterday.

Monkey King, who is the protagonist of the Chinese Monkey King story, one of the four most well praised Chinese Classic literatures, represents Chinese spiritual characteristics as he is, first of all, familiar to Chinese people and fits to the Olympic sprit not only in a way that he overcomes all the difficulties and adversity but also in a way that he tries to protect the peace and freedom while ridding of all sorts of monsters in the story.

The dragon, tiger, panda and antelope of Tibet were also among the other candidates for the Olympic symbols, but the Monkey King Research Circle claims that each of them has reasons for disqualification.

The circle claims that the dragon has negative images on western Christians while the tiger and panda had been already the mascot of the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 1990 Beijing Asian Games respectively and finally the antelope of Tibet is not a universal icon.

Yoo-Sung Hwang yshwang@donga.com