The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOGOC) have unveiled its official mascot: "NANJINGLELE".
NANJINGLELE is inspired by a unique natural feature of the host city known as the "Rain-Flower Pebble" (also translated as "Riverstone"). The design of the mascot takes the typical shape and appearance of this stone but in a creative and artistic way, highlighting the colours from the emblem's palette. The word 'lele' represents the sound of stones colliding together and is pronounced like the Chinese word meaning happiness or joy.
NYOGOC unveiled the official mascot at a grand ceremony held at the Nanjing Olympic Centre, one of the main competition venues for the upcoming Games. More than 4,000 people, including students, locals, government officials and sponsor representatives, attended the ceremony. Olympic Chinese champions Sun Yang, Huang Xu and Wu Jingyu unveiled the mascot with official dignitaries and a group of young people who are working with NYOGOC as advisors.
In a congratulatory letter read during the ceremony, the International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge, said, "The design of NANJINGLELE is truly inspiring and will certainly capture the attention of the world's youth and older generations alike. Not only does it incorporate aspects of the host city's majestic local stone, the riverstone, but it is bright and vibrant and sets the tone for a fun, colourful and energetic YOG."
Li Xueyong, Governor of Jiangsu Province and President of NYOGOC, said, "Mascot NANJINGLELE represents the profound cultural deposit of Nanjing, the collective wisdom of its people and the good wish of a harmonious relationship between human beings and the nature."
NANJINGLELE was chosen following a nationwide mascot design competition launched by NYOGOC earlier this year. More than 1.2 million students from more than 900 colleges across China participated in the competition.
During the event, Cao Weixing, Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province and Vice President of NYOGOC, presented an award to the winning designer Mr Cui Xinye, 25, a college student.
One hundred of the world's best young sailors will compete across the Boy's and Girl's Techno 293 windsurfer and Boy's and Girl's Byte CII dinghy in Nanjing.
The sailing events are open to sailors aged 15-16 years old who must have been born between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 1999. NOCs may qualify in each of the four sailing events; in addition, the host nation will automatically qualify in each of the events. To ensure Universality at the YOG there is continental quota system in place and in addition to this eight of the 100 places are reserved as NOC Universality Places to be assigned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Full details of the qualification system including the continental quotas in English and French are available in the full qualification system document here