If you’ve been watching the Olympics in a bar with the sound off, or catching snippets on your phone, you may have been puzzled by this sight: After each event’s conclusion, the three winners line up in the snow, and are very ceremoniously handed…a small stuffed animal. No medals are produced.
So what’s going on here? First off that stuffed animal is a white tiger named Soohorang, the Pyeongchang Olympics’ mascot.
In Korean folklore, white tigers (which, historically, may have wandered into the area from Siberia) represent sacred guardians. Soohorang’s name loosely translates as “protective tiger.” And some graphic designer or illustrator has been contracted to work him into the branding.
Amusingly, the folks dressed as the mascots have trouble getting through certain doors.
??? ?? ?? ??? ??? pic.twitter.com/Yu42UdDVqS
— ?? (@xmfkdbap) February 9, 2018