The 18th FINA World Championships are slated for July 12th to July 28th in Gwangju, Korea where aquatic athletes from around the globe will compete in their respective swimming, water polo, artistic swimming, diving, open water and high diving events. Cheering them on among the spectators will be the newly announced mascots, the cute and agile river otters.
A flagship species of Mt. Mudeungsan that has returned to the Yeongsangang River in Gwangju, organizers embrace the otters’ free swimming spirits, translating it to the competitive swimmers’ passion for challenge. The otters also promote the ‘spirits of peace’ to the citizens of the world, embodying the competition’s ‘Dive Into Peace’ message.
The letters within the word ‘peace’ tie into organizers’ vision and strategy for the championships as follows:
We chose to have otters as #symbol for the #Championships! Why? The otter swims freely in the water and symbolizes swimmers' passion for #challenge. #Gwangju2019 #Diveintopeace pic.twitter.com/LltCtBjpHd
— Gwangju2019 (@Gwangju2019_) May 4, 2018
Last year, Park Tae Hwan, South Korea’s Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle back in 2008, and rising swimming star An Se Hyeon were introduced as honorary ambassadors for the 2019 World Championships.