Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Friday, March 18 2022 - 17:11
100-day Countdown of the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games
CHENGDU, China, March 18, 2022 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

March 17th at 8 p.m. local time marks the start of the 100-day countdown to the 
Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games, and ushers in the arrival of the 
giant panda mascot, another sport-related Chinese figure after Bing Dwen Dwen 
of the recent 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Unlike the ice-themed Bing Dwen Dwen, this World University Games' mascot 
Rongbao incorporates fire elements in the design of its ears, eyes and tail, 
while facial structure takes into account traditional Chinese aesthetics, as 
well as the masks of Sichuan opera, a heritage of the host city, according to 
the Executive Committee of 2021 FISU WUG.

The sponsor indicates that this design represents both the youthful vim and 
vigor of university students, and the hospitable and passionate characteristics 
of Chengdu folks, as well as the energy associated with this summer sport event.

As the city located closest to the giant panda's core habitat and the world's 
one and only metropolis where both captive-bred and wild pandas can be found, 
Chengdu's giant panda resources are unrivaled. The archetype of the mascot 
Rongbao is inspired by giant panda Zhi Ma at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant 
Panda Breeding.

In 2021, there were 223 giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant 
Panda Breeding, and 73 other wild pandas live in peace inside the Giant Panda 
National Park, which is dedicated to preserving biodiversity.

For years, the "city of panda" has lived harmoniously with the giant panda and 
mother nature, and its ecological environment has improved by leaps and bounds. 
The Giant Panda National Park, Tianfu Greenway with a planned total mileage of 
16,930km, City Loop Eco Park and other major ecological endeavors continue to 
make progress. In addition, 43,600mu of giant panda habitat has been restored 
and protected, and the goal is to complete the restoration of 300,000mu by 2025.

The giant panda and Chengdu are destined to cross paths in more ways than one. 
At the top of the city's landmark Chengdu IFS is a wall-climbing giant panda 
known as "I Am Here". With a height of 15m and composed of nearly 4,000 pieces 
of triangular components, it is an installation art designed and created by 
American artist Lawrence Argent in 2013, and one of the beacons through which 
foreign visitors first come to know of Chengdu.

At Dujiangyan of Chengdu, another massive selfie-friendly giant panda has also 
garnered quite some attention. Sitting w/ legs-crossed in a selfie pose, it is 
the fruit of a collaboration between the world's largest public arts company 
UAP and Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. The designer explained that the look of 
a giant panda holding a phone to take a selfie and its leisurely posture are 
meant to convey a local attitude in an artistic manner.

Leisure and fashion are two well-known and long-standing labels of the Chengdu 
lifestyle, and as the 31st Summer World University Games draw near, another 
lifestyle has gradually climbed its way to the forefront.

A myriad of young and specialized sport consumption scenarios have emerged. A 
plethora of urban parks, outdoor camp sites, community exercise areas, training 
bases can be found throughout the city. Professional sport venues such as The 
Peak Dry Skiing Slope is not only a destination for regular winter sport 
enthusiasts, but also a training site for Olympic gold medalists like Eileen 
Gu. The sophistication and international standards of the 49 newly constructed 
and renovated venues for this year's World University Games are worth the 

From Bing Dwen Dwen to Rongbao, worldwide attention follows the "relay" between 
the two giant panda mascots toward the 31st Summer World University Games 
Chengdu, which is scheduled to kick off on June 26th.

Chengdu is slated to become Chinese mainland's third "World University Games 
city" after Beijing and Shenzhen, an achievement with long-term significance.

Source: Executive Committee of 2021 FISU WUG