BEIJING — When most champions get off the slopes or the ice at the Beijing Olympics, they are handed Bing Dwen Dwen, the chubby panda mascot of the Games.
Where are the medals? They come later at a special ceremony where the day’s winners gather.
But immediately after competition, the winning athletes receive a plush toy panda, stuffed inside a plastic shell that is meant to represent ice. Bing, in fact, means ice in Chinese. The toy is also adorned with a golden wreath.
A similar ritual unfolded at the Pyeongchang Games four years ago. There, immediately after winning gold, silver or bronze, medalists got Soohorang, a striped white tiger that served as the mascot of those Games.