Weekly Horoscope for July 14, 2008
Smiling can hurt your health

Yingying, a Tibetan Antelope: Official Mascot of 2008 Chinese Olympic Games

Yingying2 Yingying, The Yellow One

The Tibetan Antelope (or chiru) is an endangered species (blame it on the big demand for pashmina shawls). In 1993, Sonam Dargyi, leader of a volunteer patrol of people trying to protect the chiru, was killed by poachers. Sonam's life was celebrated in a film, Ke Ke Xi Li, which was nominated for an Oscar as the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film.

Thanks to recent conservation efforts the number of antelopes has risen to about 60,000. This animal was selected as one of the mascots as a symbol of "tenacity, indomitable spirit, robust physique, endurance and stamina," all the same traits that make an athlete great. He also represents Beijing's commitment to a Green Olympics. His head ornament incorporates the earth element of nature and several decorative styles from the Qinghai-Tibet and Sinkiang cultures and the ethnic design traditions of Western China.

There is an old Chinese tradition of spreading good wishes through signs and symbols. Each of the five Olympic symbols has a rhyming two-syllable name which is a traditional way of expressing affection for children. When you put all their names together -- Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni -- they say "Welcome to Beijing."  Yingying is strong in track and field events and is a quick-witted and agile boy who represents the yellow Olympic ring.
Here's a selection of official Beijing Mascots.


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