TOKYO 2020

Tokyo 2020: Mascots unveiled for Olympics and Paralympics

Japanese school pupils have selected a pair of futuristic fox-like creatures as the official mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Tokyo 2020: Mascots unveiled for Olympics and Paralympics
TORU YAMANAKA AFP

The mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were unveiled on Wednesday morning at a school in the Japanese capital.

A total of 205,755 classes at 16,769 elementary schools selected the mascots from a shortlist of three design sets.

The mascots, which have yet to be named, are two futuristic fox-like superhero creatures that can teleport, move objects with their mind and talk to stones and the wind.

The mascots are characters that "embody both old tradition and new innovation," said the organisers of Tokyo 2020.

"While cherishing tradition, it is always up to date with the latest news and information. The Mascot has a strong sense of justice, and is very athletic. The Mascot also has a special power allowing it to move anywhere instantaneously. The Olympic Mascot was born from a traditional chequered pattern and a futuristic vision of the world."

Superhero mascots

The organising committee revealed that their mascots have opposing personalities but "respect each other and are very good friends".

The blue creature, the mascot for the Olympic Games, has "an old-fashioned charm that reflects tradition and also has a high-tech, cutting edge vibe". It also has a strong sense of justice and enjoys the ability to teleport.

Meanwhile, the pink mascot for the Paralympic Games has a "dignified inner strength", and while normally calm, it "gets very powerful when needed". It also has the ability to talk with stones and the wind, and move things with its mind.

Both mascots were created by character designer and illustrator Ryo Taniguchi.

"Japan is a major mascot nation - all of the committee members thought they had to select a very good one and hoped to create a lovely mascot," said Yoshiko Ikoma, deputy chief of the mascot selection panel.

The panel will now decide the names of the fox-like creatures, which will make their official debut in summer 2018.