Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Organising committee unveils futuristic mascots

"They are cute and at the same time they're cool".

Tokyo will host the Olympics in 2020.

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

"(When designing) these characters, I referred to the flag handover performance at the closing ceremony of the recently held summer Olympic Games in Rio", Taniguchi told a jam-packed news conference following the announcement.

"I thought that something combining futuristic and traditional elements would perfectly fit the image of Japan and Tokyo", he said.

The losing pairs were a lucky cat and a fox of Design B and Design C's glum fox and raccoon.

Sadly he will not receive any royalties as all intellectual rights will go to the International Olympic and Paralympic committees.

All up, 2,042 individuals and groups submitted designs that they hoped would capture the public's affection. Elementary school students cast their votes between December 11 and February 22.

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16,769 schools across the country took part in the ballot according to the organising committee. Each class could cast a single vote in favor of one of the three competing entries.

"The winning pair, clad in the "ichimatsu" checkered pattern of the Games" official logo, received 109,041 votes.

The designer of the winning mascots is Ryo Taniguchi, who graduated as an art major from Cabrillo College in California, and is now active as a character designer/illustrator.

The selection process involving schoolchildren was introduced to get students enthusiastic about the games while also ensuring transparency.

Organizers unveiled the winning designs at a school in Tokyo on Wednesday. The Mascot also has a special power allowing it to move anywhere instantaneously.

In March, Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors Amy Purdy (para snowboarding, USA) and Evan Strong (para snowboarding, USA) will compete in the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The event has not given names to the mascots.

The Paralympic mascot is similar to the Olympics mascot but has a white and pink design.

  • Myrtle Hill