Well slap my rear and call me Sally, you learn something new everyday.

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That is precisely what happened on Thursday's (2/3/22) Ethan & Lou Show when we found out the 2022 Olympics has its own mascot. It's a cartoon panda that goes by Bing Dwen Dwen.

According to the official 2022 Olympics website, the word Bing translates to ice in Mandarin and Dwen Dwen represents children, purity and strength. So, Bing Dwen Dwen could have the following meanings:

  • Icy Children
  • Strong Ice
  • Pure Ice
  • Strong, pure ice for kids

Bing Dwen Dwen is the result of an international contest where artists would submit a character and explanation for that character. After receiving 5,800 worldwide submissions, the Chinese kept it in-house and chose Bing Dwen Dwen. The panda is the creation of an artist named Cao Xue. The submissions were voted on by officials from the Academy of Fine Arts and Jilin University of the Arts from Guangzhou.

However you slice it, it's a great way to sell t-shirts to unsuspecting tourists who bring their kids to the Olympics. You've already dropped thousands on airfare, hotel and tickets to the Olympics and even budgeted for meals and activities.

What you didn't count on was a gender-neutral cartoon panda, digging around in your wallet for the last $12 you have to your name. But that is exactly what will happen to any family going to Beijing for the world's games.

It's been a long time since I've been this excited about any Olympic games but I am. The reason behind that is, we have two local CT athletes competing and representing the U.S. in Beijing. There is Tucker West from Ridgefield and Lindsey Jacobellis from Roxbury.

Tucker got his start practicing the luge on a homemade track in his backyard in Ridgefield that was built by his father. Lindsey began snowboarding at 15 and was competing as a pro by the age of 17.

So, while the Olympic committees waste our time with cartoon pandas, the world just waits to see their hometown athletes compete for gold. That is what is alluring about the Olympics. The sports themselves are barely a draw, the Olympic villages are financial honey traps but we care because our young men and women represent our country, our states, cities and towns. The panda shirt will be a side-note to the history made by these athletes.

P.S. - We brought this up on the Ethan & Lou Show Thursday and it got our created juices flowing, once we translated Bing Dwen Dwen, someone suggested we learn how to say "Ice, Ice Baby" in Mandarin, and we did. It's Bing Bing Baobei, which we applied to the smash hit 90's song by Vanilla Ice for a Chinese karaoke contest. 

This is not a segment I can share in this article because it contains copy-written lyrics and music but let's just say, you'd be able to see this performance somewhere on the I-95 Facebook page. 

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