The Winter Olympics 2018 may still be a bit far into the future but the International Olympic Committee is already starting up the buzz for the games beginning with Soohorang, the official mascot for the winter leg!

Get to know Soohorang better with these five facts.

  1. Soohorang is a white tiger.

Tigers play an important role in Korea’s folklore.

They are a symbol of trust, strength and protection, the International Olympic Committee notes. White tigers are viewed by Koreans as the guardians of the country and its people.

Will Soohorang also guard the gold medal treasure trove for Korean Olympians?

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2. Soohorang’s name comes from the combination of Sooho and Rang.

“Sooho” means protection, which the IOC has linked to the protection of all the participants in the upcoming Winter Olympics. Meanwhile, “Rang” comes from the Korean word for tiger, “ho-rang-i.”

3. The white color stands for snow.

No, Soohorang being a white tiger was not just a purely creative decision. Rather, to unify the mascot’s theme and appearance with the winter games, the selection committee chose the white animal to reflect the winter times.

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4. Soohorang is the second tiger mascot to represent South Korea.

Soohorang’s mascot sibling, “Hodori”  was created for the 1998 Seoul games. Hodori is an Amur red tiger.

5. PyeongChang’s White Tiger will have Bandabi, a Black Asian bear to keep him company!

While Soohorang promotes the Winter Olympics 2018, Bandabi which is an Asian Black bear will promote the 2018 Paralympic Games, Arirang News reports. Bandabi stands for strong will and courage.

Mascots have been part of the Olympic Games since 1972 in order to give some relief into what is otherwise a heavily competitive international sports event. The first official mascot, dachshund Waldi, appeared in the Olympic Games in Munich.