Japanese students hold paper fans featuring the mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics after TokyoOlympics organizers unveiled the mascots selected by popular vote by elementary students across Japan at the Hoyonomori Gakuen School in Tokyo yesterday. The other is a cherry blossom-inspired superhero, a report in The Guardian said on Wednesday.
Organisers a year ago 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.
Almost 600 cheering schoolchildren attended a ceremony in Tokyo's Shinagawa ward on Wednesday to hear the results of that vote.
The Olympic mascot is blue and white while the Paralympics mascot is pink and white.
The official Olympic mascot is said to have a strong sense of justice, is athletic and has the ability to go anywhere instantaneously.
"It has a dignified inner strength and a kind heart that loves nature."
Winner Ryo Taniguchi said he wanted to keep the design simple. "I'm just so spaced out at the moment", he said when the decision was announced.
"I can't wait to tell my darling wife".
The selection of mascots had attracted wide publicity across Japan. Although the official Mascot Selection Panel performed the initial processes to short-list the remaining designs, the students had the ultimate say in the winning mascot pairing through voting that took place from December to February 22nd, with no votes being accepted from the general public.
Staffers wearing big cuddly costumes often turn up at trade and food festivals to meet and greet visitors - and hand out business cards.
For instance, "Kumamon" mascot created to promote Kumamoto region of the country, brought in $8.8 million past year from sale of products bearing its image.
BC-OLY-Tokyo 2020-Mascots, 122 Futuristic digital characters selected as Tokyo 2020 mascotsAP Photo XEH108, XEH107, XEH101, XEH102, XEH103, XEH104, XEH105, XEH106Eds: APNewsNow.
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