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Beijing to Stop Soliciting Designs of Olympic Mascots on Dec.1

  BOCOG is to conclude a four-month designing contest to solicit designs of mascots for the Beijing Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games on December 1, 2004. The Beijing Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) will finalize the official version of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots on the basis of the best entries in this competition.

  BOCOG will officially unveil the mascots for the Beijing Olympics in June 2005.

  As one of the principal images of the Olympic Games, the Olympic mascot serves as an important medium that carries the Olympic spirit and the theme of a specific Olympic Games. Its vivid and distinguishable character has become the symbolic image of every Olympic Games, winning the hearts of people, especially young people.

  Since the designing contest began on August 5, the office in charge of the competition has received more than 600 entries of mascot designs from around the world, said a chief of the BOCOG Culture and Ceremonies Department. He said BOCOG has already developed strict criteria and procedures to evaluate and select the Olympic mascots, which it requires to have Chinese characteristics, embody the Olympic spirit and appeal to people from all over the world.

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