Doe-eyed superhero picked for Tokyo 2020 mascot

Doe-eyed superhero picked for Tokyo 2020 mascot

The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said Wednesday that the characters with traditional kumi ichimatsumon checkered patterns were chosen as mascots for the quadrennial sporting events.

Tokyo on 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.

16,769 schools across the country took part in the ballot according to the organising committee.

The three candidates were shortlisted in December from a total of 2,042 design submissions from the public.

More than 100,000 stuffed dolls (Soohorang and Paralympic mascot Banbdabi) were sold over the past year, Pyeongchang organizers said.

"The winning pair, clad in the "ichimatsu" checkered pattern of the Games" official logo, received 109,041 votes. The winning mascots were announced during a ceremony attended by hundreds of students.

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Helpfully, it also has a magical power that enables it "to move anywhere instantaneously". The other is a cherry blossom-inspired superhero, a report in The Guardian said on Wednesday.

"These two are very different in design but I think they have quite a unity between them", she said, evoking a theme that resonates well with the Olympic movement.

Meanwhile, the pink mascot for the Paralympic Games has a "dignified inner strength", and while normally calm, it "gets very powerful when needed". Its superpower is moving things by simply looking at them. The list was narrowed down to three by experts and voted for by school students across the nation.

Twelve-year-old Miyu Kawa from the school where the victor was unveiled on Wednesday pronounced the mascots "unique" and "very cool".

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 Olympics are scheduled for July 24 to August 9, 2020. Since then, we've seen eagles, polar bears, mythical sea creatures and many more as mascots.

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