Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Organising committee unveils futuristic mascots

The 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympic games are set to be held in Tokyo- the second time the city would be hosting the Olympics- and commonly known as Tokyo 2020, will be held between 24 July to 9 August, and 25 August to 6 September 2020 respectively in the New National Stadium under construction.

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.

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

"The mascot has a strong sense of justice and is very athletic", the notes about the mascot said.

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

Organisers previous year received more than 2,000 entries from the general public in a nationwide competition, from which they short-listed three pairs of designs in December. Each class could cast a single vote in favor of one of the three competing entries.

Millions of students voted for the final mascot, designed by illustrator Ryo Taniguchi.

The win, ahead of compatriot Shoma Uno, who took silver, made the 23-year-old Hanyu the first man in 66 years to defend an Olympic title.

"I hope these mascots will give energy to the athletes participating in the games", Yoshinari Jitsukawa, a sixth grader who goes to Hoyonomori Elementary school, told reporters after the announcement.

These blue and pink Japanese mascots will follow in the footsteps of a white tiger named "Soohorang", mascot for the just-completed Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The mascots will be featured at various events and on products related to the games.

The naming and official launch of the mascots will take place later this summer.

Yoshiko Ikoma, deputy chief of the mascot panel and designer, said narrowing down the designs for students to vote on was a heated process.

  • Aubrey Nash