'Hard to say goodbye' to Bing Dwen Dwen as Beijing Winter Olympics end
Published: Feb 21, 2022 11:36 PM
Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon

Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon

It's hard to say goodbye to Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, as the Games ended on Sunday. Soon it will be the home platform of Shuey Rhon Rhon, the mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, scheduled to open in early March.  

Culture observers said Bing Dwen Dwen will become a beautiful everlasting memory of the Games and the spirit it carries will impact more people in spin-off products. 

The panda mascot's curtain call at the closing ceremony of the Games was followed by tears and blessings among athletes, other Olympic relevant personnel, and the crowd.

Hashtags "Bing DwenDwen off duty," "Bing DwenDwen cried" grabbed social media trending topics on Monday morning with the highest views surpassing 360 million as of press time. 

"Tears ran down my cheeks when I saw the adorable panda bid final goodbye to athletes," a Sina Weibo user posted. 

"I see the look in Bing Dwen Dwen's eyes when it showed up at the closing ceremony. It seems that  Bing DwenDwen was wondering why people are going to leave after they had fun together for a dozen days," another Sina Weibo user said. 

Athletes and reporters also found it hard to tear themselves away from Bing Dwen Dwen. 

With a photo taken with Bing Dwen Dwen, Russian figure skater Anna Shcherbakova bid farewell in her social media account. "Said goodbye to beloved Bing Dwen Dwen. Now let's go home! Thank you for your love and support even inside the Olympic Village."

American freestyle halfpipe skier Carly Margulies took a Bing Dwen Dwen plastic sign with her before she was on board to fly home at the airport. 

Videos of people lining up in front of the Olympic store in the Olympic village were widely circulated on social media on the last few days of the Games. Some claimed they queued up seven hours for a Bing Dwen Dwen.

Statistics show that more than 100 million people visited the Olympic flagship store on online shopping platform Tmall in the past half a month to purchase Bing Dwen Dwen related products, but was usually sold out in seconds. 

Although the Beijing Winter Olympics ended, Bing Dwen Dwen's popularity will spawn spin-offs and as a collection it will be a beautiful,everlasting memory from the Olympics, Zhang Yiwu, a professor of cultural studies at Peking University, told the Global Times. 

The spirit of Bing Dwen Dwen being a generous and enthusiastic figure and the Chinese culture it implies will have a long-term effect, Zhang said. 

Some cultural products related to Bing Dwen Dwen have already come out. Animated film "Me And My Winter Games" begins its national screening on Saturday featuring Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon. The two mascots were also presented in a children's musical at the National Center for the Performing Arts and will go on tour across the country starting March. 

As the Winter Paralympics are about to start, Shuey Rhon Rhon will soon take center stage.