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Eagle-eyed viewers watching the 2018 Winter Olympics have spotted that athletes are no longer being presented with flowers and medals after competing, but a little stuffed animal when they step onto the podium.

眼尖的平昌冬奥会观众已经发现,赛后当获奖选手站在领奖台上,颁发给他们的不再是鲜花和奖牌,而是一个小毛绒玩具。

It’s left many asking what happened to the normal Olympic podium protocol, and why are athletes being given a small toy instead?

很多人不禁心生疑问,难道是奥运会颁奖规则改了吗?为什么颁发给获奖选手的是一个小玩具?

Firstly, the small toy is named Soohorang, a white tiger that represents the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The tiger is an important figure in Korean culture, long considered to be their guardian animal, and a regular tiger was used as the mascot of the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.

这个小毛绒玩具是一只名为Soohorang的白老虎,它是2018年平昌冬奥会的吉祥物。老虎在韩国文化中具有重要的象征意义,一直被视为人们的守护者。1988年汉城(现为首尔)奥运会的吉祥物也是一只老虎。

So why is this being given to athletes instead of flowers and medals?

那么为什么要颁发给获奖选手一只吉祥物,而不是鲜花和奖牌呢?

At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee decided that giving athletes flowers on the podium was unsustainable, and decided to change the process to involve the awarding of a mascot or small trophy.

2016年里约夏季奥运会上,国际奥委会认为给每位获奖选手配上鲜花并不环保,因此决定在颁发奖牌时送给获奖选手一个吉祥物或者一个小奖品。

Successful athletes do still receive medals, just not at the initial ceremony after the event. Because the Winter Olympics involves far fewer categories than the Summer Olympics, the IOC is able to hold a ceremony at the end of each day to award all medals to athletes. This isn’t possible at the Summer Olympics as the ceremony would take too long to compete.

冬奥会的获奖选手仍会得到奖牌,但不是在赛后马上举行的仪式上。由于冬奥会的比赛类别比夏季奥运会少得多,国际奥委会可以在一天的比赛结束后统一举行一次颁奖仪式,给当天所有的获奖选手颁发奖牌。这在夏季奥运会行不通,因为仪式会耗时太久。

There’s also the chance for fans to receive their own Soohorang without having to compete for and win a gold medal, as the mascot is available to buy for 39.95 pounds on Amazon.

另外,冬奥会粉丝们无需得奖就能拥有自己的Soohorang吉祥物。吉祥物在亚马逊网站有售,单价39.95英镑(约合355元人民币)。