The Youth Olympic Games mascot #Pandi was launched by the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee last week. Inspired by the jaguar, one of the most emblematic wild cat species found in northern Argentina, the mascot aims to inspire youth to embrace sport as a tool to make the world a better place, while raising awareness about the species’ risk of extinction.
The mascot’s name has a hashtag at the beginning to demonstrate its strong online profile. The jaguar, found in Argentina’s northern region, is in great danger due to human causes. Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have warned about the risk of extinction as a result of the destruction of their natural habitat and hunting.
In the animated short, the young jaguar doesn’t give up when faced with challenges as it tries to reach the ribbons with colours that symbolise Buenos Aires 2018.
During the race it uses the positive energy of the sports found on the Youth Olympic programme to overcome all kinds of obstacles.
Exhaustion can’t get in the way of its final goal, to reach the Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires, where it’s embraced by the ribbons to become the mascot for the third summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games.
With perseverance and the festive spirit it reveals upon reaching its goal, #Pandi symbolises the desire for Buenos Aires 2018, the first edition of an Olympic celebration with strict gender equality, to serve as an important source of inspiration to build a better world through sport.
“Like the young athletes that give their best to qualify for the Games, the Buenos Aires 2018 mascot overcomes all types of adversity to reach its goals,” said the president of the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee, Gerardo Werthein.
The Olympic mascots are ambassadors to the Games and play a fundamental role in spreading the event’s message and the Olympic values of friendship, respect, and excellence among different audiences, especially children and youth.