Japanese students select 'futuristic' Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascots

Lynette PayneMar 02, 2018

Tokyo Wednesday, February 28, unveiled its long-awaited mascot for the 2020 Olympic Games: a futuristic blue-checked, doe-eyed character with pointy ears and "special powers" that was picked by schoolchildren across mascot-mad Japan. The Paralympic character has a kind heart, loves nature and can move objects by looking at them.

The island-nation is a champion at both creating anime and mascots.

"Thank you. My mind is going absolutely blank. I wanted to share courage with everyone, so I'm happy that I could do that even a little bit", Miho said. The winning Olympic and Paralympic mascots have not yet been given names, but they are said to "respect each other" and are "very good friends".

2016 Rio Olympics mascot "Vinicius", named after music great Vinicius de Moraes, was a yellow feline animal representing Brazil's fauna and wildlife. "I just want to tell my beloved wife that I've been chosen". Tom meanwhile, was the mascot for the Paralympics and represented the the country's flora.

"It was tense and there were many different opinions".

They prance around street fairs, sporting events, and tourist destinations.

Whatever the reason, students rarely get a say in such an influential decision, but organisers say it was a deliberate and important choice.

"It's quite innovative, I like the blue-check pattern while the pink one uses cherry blossoms and it shows traditional Japan", said Miyu Kawa, a 12-year-old student at Hoyonomori Gakuen School, where the selection was announced.

Welcoming the "adorable" characters to the Tokyo 2020 team, the city's governor Yuriko Koike said she hoped the selection would continue to build "momentum" and "excitement" with less than 900 days to go until the opening ceremony.

"This design is like a robot and it's futuristic. We are also excited to continue sharing our "Chase Your Dream" message, which aims to inspire people everywhere to overcome obstacles and persevere in pursuit of their goals".

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