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奥运吉祥物舍虎其谁

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 The race to select the Beijing 2008 Olympic mascot is heating up and from all accounts, the panda is out in front. According to news reports, the Sichuan panda team is pulling out all the stops to get the giant panda chosen -- not surprisingly, as most of the pandas in China can be found in Sichuan. They have created 29 possible panda designs for consideration by the Beijing Olympic organising committee, which will be making the choice.

  So what does an Olympic mascot represent to the world? The Sichuan team says that the giant panda represents the peace and harmony of the Olympic spirit, but is that what a panda really portrays? What, after all, does a giant panda do all day? It pulls down bamboo shoots and eats, and when it's not eating, it sleeps. That's it! That is all a panda does. One might say that the giant panda is fat and lazy! What if there is no bamboo? Does it find other food? No. When the panda's food disappears, the panda disappears. In fact, the giant panda is a very vulnerable animal and that is why today it is at risk of extinction. Do Chinese really want a fat, lazy animal for their Olympic mascot?

  Fortunately there are other candidates for the honour of representing the Beijing Olympics, including the Chinese tiger. Now there's a contrast with the panda! The tiger is sleek; the tiger is swift. When the tiger springs into action, one can see its muscles ripple with energy. When a tiger is hunting for food, first it stalks its prey, perhaps a herd of wild swine. Then it chooses a victim and cleverly plans its strategy for the chase. Carefully choosing its moment, the tiger takes off with power and speed, as much as 80 km per hour. Does that not make the tiger a better choice to represent an Olympic competition, where the world's top athlets come together to see who is the strongest, the fastest and the best? The tiger is sleek, strong, swift and uses clever strategy to achieve its goal. Is it not the ideal animal to represent the athletes who have planned and carried out long-term strategies to qualify for the Olympics?

  To be sure, the giant panda seems loveable whereas the tiger might be thought by some to be rather fierce. However, the tiger, like most predatory animals, is not truly vicious -- this is a common misperception. Under normal circumstances it kills only for food. When hungry it goes after its prey with fierce determination. Does it not take fierce determination for an athlete to win a medal in the Olympics?

  Some years ago, Shell carried out a very successful ad campaign in Canada and the US. The ads showed a tiger getting into the gas tank of an auto; the accompanying slogan was "Put a tiger in your tank!" Everyone understood the message: the tiger meant extra power and speed for your car. The original Olympics in Greece brought together athletes in a fierce trial of power and speed. Nowadays China is amazing everyone with the power and speed of its economic development, far outstripping the other nations of the world. In the latest Olympics, the Chinese athletes surprised the world not only with the number of medals they won but also with the categories in which they won them. I would therefore argue that Beijing's 2008 Olympic mascot should be an animal that embodies the great qualities, power and speed, of the Chinese athletes and their homeland -- the Chinese tiger.

  Recently it was brought to my attention that the 1988 Seoul Olympics had a tiger mascot. Does this make the tiger ineligible for use in the 2008 Beijing Olympics? In an informal poll of my friends and colleagues, I discovered that no one remembered the mascot of the 1988 games. In fact, they did not remember the mascot of the Sydney Olympics or even of this year's Athens Olympics. More important, the Chinese tiger has a long cultural history in China. One has only to review the Chinese art works of many centuries to see images of the tiger everywhere -- in carvings, ancient bronzes, ink brush paintings and even embroidery. Yes, the tiger has been revered and admired in China for thousands of years. With its natural characteristics of speed and power, the Chinese tiger would, I am convinced, be a superb mascot for the 2008 Olympics!(听英文51191,作者简介511912)

  Penny Williams (加拿大)

老外直言--奥运吉祥物舍虎其谁(图)

  (本文作者现在大连某高校任教)目前,2008年北京奥运会吉祥物的“竞选”正日趋激烈,而从各种报道来看,熊猫处于领先地位。据报道,四川省的熊猫工作组正竭尽全力地要让熊猫当选———这也不奇怪,因为熊猫大多栖息在四川;工作人员已设计出了29种不同的熊猫图案供北京奥组委———决定吉祥物花落谁家的机构———来考虑。

  那么,对于全世界来说奥运吉祥物代表着什么呢?四川省的工作组说,大熊猫代表着和平、和谐的奥运精神,但熊猫所表现的真是这种精神吗?熊猫整天都在做什么呢?它们掰倒竹笋后就吃,吃完了就睡,仅此而已!熊猫就只干这些。人们也许还会说,熊猫又胖又懒!如果没有了竹子,事情会怎样?它们能找到其他食物吗?不能。当熊猫的食物消失时,熊猫也会消失。事实上,熊猫是很脆弱的动物,这也是它们之所以濒临灭绝的原因。中国人真的想让一种又胖又懒的动物成为他们的奥运吉祥物吗?

  所幸的是,还有其他候选动物也在争这一代表北京奥运会的殊荣,其中包括中国虎。这样,就有了一个和熊猫的对照!老虎体形流线,行动敏捷,当它一跃而起时,可以看到它的肌肉凸起,充满着活力;在猎取食物时,它首先悄悄接近猎物,也许正好是一群野猪,然后它选定一个猎取对象,聪明地制定其追捕策略。在谨慎地选定时机后,老虎开始有力快速地出击,其奔跑时速达80公里。老虎的这些特质不是更能代表由全世界最优秀的运动员聚在一起、通过竞赛看谁最强、最快、最好的奥林匹克竞赛吗?老虎具有流线的体形,强壮,迅捷,而且会运用聪明的“战略”达到目的,难道它不是代表那些为了有资格参加奥运会而认真做计划、并且按照长期战略进行训练的运动员的理想动物吗?当然了,熊猫看上去是很可爱,而老虎呢,也许有人认为很凶。其实,就像大多数食肉动物一样,老虎并不真凶———这是一个普遍的误解。正常情况下,老虎捕杀动物只为了填饱肚子。饥饿时,它会以勇猛的决心去追捕猎物。要在奥运会上赢得奖牌,运动员不需要勇猛的决心吗?

  数年前,壳牌石油公司在加拿大和美国发起了一个十分成功的广告宣传活动。广告上画的一只老虎正钻进汽车的油箱,伴随的广告语是“把老虎放入您的油箱!”大家都能理解其中的含义:老虎意味着为你的汽车添加更大的力量和更快的速度。最初古希腊的奥林匹克运动会就是把运动员们召集在一起,让他们经受力量和速度的激烈考验。今天,中国正以远远超过其他国家的经济发展力度和速度让世人为之惊讶。在今年的夏季奥运会上,中国运动员们不仅在奖牌数量而且在奖牌的种类上都让全世界为之惊奇。所以,我竭力主张2008年奥运会的吉祥物应该是能象征中国运动员和中国的优秀素质、力量和速度的动物———那就是中国虎。

  最近,我注意到了1988年汉城奥运会吉祥物是老虎。那么是否这就使老虎没有资格成为2008年奥运会吉祥物了呢?我在自己的朋友和同事中做了个非正式的调查,发现没有一个人记得1988年奥运会的吉祥物。实际情况是,他们也不记得2000年悉尼奥运会的吉祥物,甚至连今年雅典奥运会的吉祥物也不记得了。更为重要的是,虎在中国拥有很长的历史文化渊源,我们只须回顾一下很多世纪以来中国的艺术作品,看看随处可见的虎的形象———在雕刻作品中,在古代青铜器上,在国画中,甚至在刺绣作品中,就会感受到这一点。是的,虎在中国已经被尊崇和赞美了几千年了。由于虎具有与生俱来的速度和力量的特质,我确信让它作为2008年奥运会吉祥物是非常棒的!

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