Mascot meets the people: Orry the Oryx is the official Doha 2006 mascot
Orry, chosen as the official mascot of the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, has a special message for all attending the Games.
"I love all sports; I love having fun and I love my country. I want to help make Doha 2006 the Games of your life, for the people of Qatar, for the athletes and for all our visitors," says this lovable creature who is a native Qatari oryx, a beautiful member of the antelope family.
When seen in profile, the long, pointed horns of the oryx appear as one, which some say gave rise to the legend of the unicorn. With striking black and white markings on its face, this graceful creature was once close to extinction but now lives and breeds in protected herds.
These social animals graze on the sparse vegetation offered by the dry local environment, using their large horns to defend themselves.
Survival in such habitats requires special adaptation and the oryx can survive on little more than dew or condensation licked off leaves during the night for up to a year.
A characteristic of the animal is its ability to detect rainfall from great distances. As a result, oryx travel swiftly and have been known to cover up to 88km in 18 hours.
Perfectly adapted to desert conditions, the hooves of the Arabian oryx are designed to give better grip in sand while its coat is whiter to reflect heat.
In Qatar, one of the largest herds is based at the Al-Shahhaniya farm west of Doha. Visits can be organised through local tour operators.
Now for some words from Orry himself:
Hello! I'm Orry, a Qatari oryx. I've been chosen as the Mascot for the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. This makes me feel very proud and very excited. I love all sports; I love having fun and I love my country, so I want to help make these Games the best possible time for everyone, for the people of Qatar, the athletes and all our visitors. I hope everyone will join in so we can enjoy this amazing event together and remember it for the rest of our lives.
Orry was quick to explain his excitement and enthusiasm for Doha 2006.
"I believe in the Spirit of the Games: commitment, enthusiasm, participation, respect, peace and to have fun!" he said, with his characteristic smile.
Get to know Orry a bit better from this exclusive interview.
How do you feel about being the official mascot for Doha 2006?
I feel very honoured to have been chosen to represent the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. It's a chance for everyone to join in and have fun at this really exciting time!
Why do you think you were chosen to be the mascot for Doha 2006?
I was chosen because I have lots of energy and really enjoy sport, but what's most important is that I don't give up easily. I always go out and try my hardest and that's what matters. I'm also incredibly proud of my country and I want people from all over Asia to feel welcome here and to see what a great place Doha is and how much we have to offer.
What do you hope the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 will achieve?
People from all over Asia will be brought together as friends and fellow competitors in the most exciting sports event ever hosted across Asia and on the Arabian Peninsula. It will provide us with a better understanding and more respect for other cultures. It will show the world what we can do when we work together, and help bring peace among nations.
What do you think the 15th Asian Games are all about?
Pride, effort, honour and the thrill of competing against some of the world's best athletes-that's what the Games are all about.
Credit: Doha 2006
Please visit http://www.doha-2006.com/gis/menuroot/spirit/look/look_mascot.aspx for further information.