It has to be something cute, it must appeal to people of all ages and be able to cross the cultural divide and language barriers - in short, it must be a fitting mascot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Beijing Olympics organising committee has launched a competition to find a mascot, and anyone can enter. Contest entrants must not only design an endearing mascot, they must create a story giving it experiences and traits such as bravery, persistence, optimism and a sense of humour. And it needs a name. The design should comprise one or a group of cartoon images, with other images showing the mascot in equestrian, swimming, running, cycling and rhythmic gymnastics events. In addition to recognition, the winner will receive 200,000 yuan. In a statement issued on its website yesterday, the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games said also the design should embrace the three concepts of the Games: green Olympics, hi-tech Olympics and people's Olympics. Zhang Ming , vice-director of the committee's cultural activity department, said in an interview with the People's Daily that the mascot should be endearing and characterise Chinese culture. It should also have marketing value. The competition closes on December 1 and entries will be vetted by a selection panel. The Olympic committee aims to register the design by May.