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Chinese-made sports equipment, mascot at the Games

Reporter: Omar Khan 丨 CCTV.com

08-10-2016 05:26 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

Eleven time zones separate Rio de Janeiro and China, but the Olympics are by no means far from China. 'Made in China' products can be seen in every corner of Rio, from sports venues to shops in the streets.
Doing intense checks at the volleyball venue that's Li Jiangang's daily routine.

His Jiangsu-based company is the designated supplier for products ranging from nets, to referee's chairs.

It certainly was not an easy task gaining a place at the Games.

"It was really hard for a Chinese company to be here. Japanese companies used to monopolize volleyball facilities in international competitions," said Li Jiangang, General Manager of Jiangsu Jinling Sports Equipments Co., Ltd..

The qualifications to provide equipment came after a 3-year-long negotiation with the International Volleyball Federation.

Made in China also comes alive in the form of mascots. Walking away from the venue, Vinicius and Tom, the mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, proved popular in Rio's biggest souvenir store.

Created by a Chinese firm, Vinicius is a mixture of famous Brazilian animals .

Over the past two years, the company did numerous tests to get the color, materials, and even toes of the mascots right.

"We created a skeleton with shape memory materials -- it can stand, sit with some complicated movements, or keep such movements. We also performed many tests to ensure the steel structure and cotton used are safe for the children," said designer of Beijing Huajiang Culture Dev't Co., Ltd..

So far, the company has been authorized to provide more than one thousand editions of Olympic souveniors, including pins, plush toys and artefacts. The color yellow was dedicatedly selected to best represent the implications behind it.

Among all the products, the mascot Vinicius has been the best-selling so far, with a record 80 percent selling out within half an hour in one local store. And tourists may not know this, but as they purchase a pin or a mascot, they're bringing home a tiny bit of China with them.

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