Olympic participants’ body figure will have an exception this year with two squishy and clumsy creatures participating too. They are the 2018 Winter Olympic Mascots - an Asiatic black bear called Bandabi that will serve as mascot at 2018 Paralympics and white tiger, Soohorang that will represent the 2018 Winter games. Both the white tiger and the Asiatic bear have been considered to be of crucial importance since a long time. They appear as significant figures in the Korean culture and history and are featured prominently in paintings and sculptures. Olympic mascots are, more often than not, representative of the host countries.
Both of these animals - tiger and the bear - appear in the origin story of Korea called "Samguk Yusa" or "Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms," it is a collection of the historical accounts, folktales and legends of the Korea dating to the 13th century. According to the tale, the tiger and the bear goes through a series of grueling trials in order to become human. In the end, the tiger fails and the bear triumphs over him. He is transformed into a woman that later gives birth to the Korea's founder - as the legend says. Apparently, Soohorang is not the first tiger that is demonstrated as an Olympic mascot by the Republic of Korea. Hodori, an orange Amur tiger (ho - means tiger and dori - means boys, a combination of Korean words) held the place of honor too during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
By: Neha Maheshwari