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Um, Why Are Olympians Getting Stuffed Tigers Instead of Medals?
NBC

If you’ve been keeping up with the 2018 Winter Olympics (most notably, Adam Rippon), then you’ve probably noticed that Olympians are receiving stuffed tigers instead of medals immediately following the ceremony. Before you ask, no, it’s not some Snapchat filter come to life. The plush toys that top Olympians are receiving are actually the PyeongChang Olympic mascot, Soohorang.

The cuddly little guy wears a gold, silver or bronze hat, depending on how the athlete placed, as well as a paper flower called an uhsahwa. And the story behind the name Soohorang? Sooho means protection in Korean, and rang is derived from the Korean word for tiger.

Soohorang takes the place of the traditional floral bouquets Olympians are given until they receive their medals at a second ceremony later in the evening. Summer Olympians are given their medals immediately following their win, but more athletes compete in the Winter Games and there are more events, thus the second ceremony.

Medals and tigers and Chloe Kim’s adorable dad. Best Olympics ever.

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