Tokyo 2020 revealed two teleporting and telekinetic, cartoonish and futurisitic-looking creatures that will serve as the Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots. The yet-unnamed characters were chosen in an election Tuesday by schoolchildren as part of a national campaign.
During a live-streamed ceremony, the winner from among three candidates was chosen after it received over half of almost 206,000 votes cast. 43-year-old illustrator Ryo Taniguchi of Fukuoka, Japan designed the winning entries, which are expected to be named this summer and initially become part of an educational program across the country.
The Olympic Mascot is a character that embodies both old tradition and new innovation.The Mascot has an old-fashioned charm that reflects tradition and also has a high-tech, cutting edge vibe. It has strong sense of justice, and is very athletic. The Mascot has a special power allowing it to move any where instantaneously.
The Paralympic Mascot is a cool character with cherry tactile sense and supernatural power. The Mascot is usually calm, however, it gets very powerful when needed. It has a dignified inner strength and a kind heart that loves nature. It can talk with stones and the wind. It can also move things by just looking at them.
(Source: Tokyo 2020 Website)
We’re pleased to introduce the #Tokyo2020 Games Mascots! The Olympic Mascot is inspired by a fusion of tradition with modern innovation, the Paralympic Mascot by nature and the supernatural powers that make Japan distinct. They’d like to say hello! https://t.co/0FYIsGPzjF pic.twitter.com/hn7qhe0AXM
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) February 28, 2018
Mascots typically become a major part of the marketing and promotional campaigns for the Games, and help boost the sales of merchandising. At this month’s PyeongChang Winter Games, the “Soohorang” white tiger mascot plush toy was an extremely popular item and was given to medalists on the podium following each event.
The Mascot Selection Panel Chairperson Ryohei Miyata said “The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games finally have their mascots. This means a lot, especially in Japan.”
“I cannot wait to see these two characters coming to life in the stadiums, on the streets and on TV.”