Saola (R) is the official mascot for SEA Games and Para Games 2021 and the V-shaped official logo. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Sports Administration.
The saola, a rare mammal also known as the Asian unicorn, will be the mascot for SEA Games 31 and ASEAN Para Games.
This was announced Thursday by the Vietnam Sports Administration, which also revealed the logo for both events.
Both the mascot and the logo were chosen from winning works of a national contest launched in August last year to find the suitable symbols for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games that Vietnam will host next year.
The saola design, created by Hanoi artist Ngo Xuan Khoi, was declared winner in the mascot category. The work is an animated depiction of saola, one of the rarest mammals on earth found in the Truong Son Mountain Range in central Vietnam. Khoi said he chose the saola because it is an endangered animal that was first discovered in Vietnam in 1992.
The logo category was won by Hoang Xuan Hieu, a lecturer at the Hue University of Arts in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. The logo uses the design of a V-shaped hand that can also be seen as a bird. Hieu said his work represents peace as well as pride when the athletes put their hands on their chests and look up to the national flag.
Le Thi Hoang Yen, deputy director of the Vietnam Sports Administration, said that over nearly two years, contest organizers received 1,467 entries for both categories. The two ultimate winners were selected after two selection rounds.
The official theme song for both sporting events will be announced on November 21.
It will be the second time that Vietnam is hosting the SEA Games and Para Games after first doing so in 2003.
The 31st SEA Games is scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 2, 2021, and the Para Games from December 14 to 21.