News & Politics

Petition to Enter Baby Panda Cub in the Tokyo Olympics

If balancing a blue ball on little paws was an Olympic event, Xiao Qi Ji would take the gold.

Xiao Qi Ji and his blue ball. Screenshot via the National Zoo.

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji is growing and so is his personality. On Tuesday, he weighed in at 58.3 pounds, and lately, he’s been extra adorable playing with one of his “enrichment items”—aka a blue ball. It looks like he’s mastering balancing the toy on his paws as he lays upside down. He would for sure win first place if this were an Olympic event (plus, extra points for cuteness).

This morning, the National Zoo posted a video of Xiao Qi Ji practicing his skills. Exactly the Friday morning pick-me-up we needed. Xiao Qi Ji’s first birthday is in three weeks, and we are so proud of how much he’s learned in just a year.

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Anne Tate, originally from Annapolis, MD, joined Washingtonian in July 2021. She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied journalism and psychology.