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Mascot madness takes over Beijing Olympics

BEIJING (AP) – Bing Dwen Dwen is becoming one of the biggest stars of the 2022 Olympics.

The panda mascot of the Beijing Games is everywhere, visiting events, entertaining fans and serving as a sought-after piece of memorabilia in various forms. Medal-winning athletes have been receiving plush toy pandas after their moments of triumph, stuffed inside a plastic shell meant to represent ice. Bing means ice in Chinese.

Stuffed versions of Bing Dwen Dwen have become a popular souvenir. The pandas were sold out on Monday at many locations, and elsewhere buyers have been limited to one each.

Shuey Rhon Rhon, a Chinese lantern child, is the mascot for the Paralympics and sometimes appears with Bing Dwen Dwen. The Chinese lantern is an ancient cultural symbol associated with harvest, celebration, prosperity and brightness.

A woman takes a picture of the Olympic mascot, Bing Dwen Dwen, at the Olympic Green. PHOTO: AP

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