Meet The Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Mascots

by Noah Mcgee March 2, 2018, 1:19
Meet The Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Mascots

Tokyo will host the Olympics in 2020.

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. The new Olympic and Paralympic mascots will be seen in merchandise, stadiums and everything that has to do with the event.

A total of 205,755 classes at 16,769 elementary schools took part in selecting three short-listed designs, with their classes casting a single vote.

The mascots won the vote with a mammoth 109,000, beating the nearest candidate by 40,000 votes.

The blue-checked Olympics mascot has a "strong sense of justice" and can travel faster than the speed of light, according to Games organisers.

Helpfully, it also has a magical power that enables it "to move anywhere instantaneously".

Taniguchi will be awarded ¥1 million and a ticket to the opening ceremonies of both the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

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"It has a dignified inner strength and a kind heart that loves nature", the description of the mascot said. "It can also move things by just looking at them".

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

Organizers say the mascots combine tradition with innovation.

After Kodaira's win over South Korean defending champion Lee Sang Hwa, the Japanese athlete hugged and comforted her rival in a show of friendship and sportsmanship between athletes from the two countries, whose ties remain strained due to a shared past in which Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910-1945.

The pot-bellied, red-cheeked bear known as Kumamon - created in 2010 to promote Japan's southern Kumamoto region - raked in $8.8 million past year for local businesses selling branded products.

The Tokyo 2020 mascot will hope to replicate the success of Soohorang, the cuddly stuffed tiger from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang handed out to athletes on the podium.

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