LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China has made a great choice with the animated giant panda named "Bing Dwen Dwen" as the mascot for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, says IOC chief Thomas Bach.
Bach is a former member of the German Olympic fencing team and visited China last month as IOC president for the launch of the Olympic mascot. In Beijing, he met the top Beijing 2022 organizing committee and government officials.
Xinhua interviewed him at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne after a visit to China in September for the unveiling of the mascot.
"I loved this mascot from the first moment I saw it, a couple of weeks before the launch, and so did everybody because it represents so many positive things," said Bach.
"First of all, it's very friendly, with its name Bing Dwen Dwen, relates to children and shows dynamism, friendliness and hospitality, so I'm really excited about it," said the IOC chief.
Beijing 2022 executive president Chen Jining had explained the idea behind the design of the two mascots (the other is for the Paralympic Games) at the launch ceremony in September.
"The two mascots combine elements of traditional Chinese culture and a modern international style, as well as emphasizing the characteristics of ice and snow sports, and those of the host city.
"They vividly show the Chinese people's eager expectations for the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and China's warm invitation to friends from all over the world," said Chen, who is also the mayor of Beijing.
He said they were designed to express the fullness of the Olympic spirit, with compassion, perseverance, friendship and mutual understanding to actively engage the public.