OLYMPICS/ Japan return to hero's welcome after best winter medal haul

The Tokyo 2020 mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Tokyo 2020 mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Names for the mascots have not been revealed, with the Olympic committee saying they will reveal those over the summer.

The Olympic mascot is blue and white while the Paralympics mascot is pink and white. The Mascot has a strong sense of justice, and is very athletic.

The winning mascots for the games were selected by the elementary school students nationwide and overseas who were given three proposals to choose from.

2016 Rio Olympics mascot "Vinicius", named after music great Vinicius de Moraes, was a yellow feline animal representing Brazil's fauna and wildlife.

It has a "dignified inner strength", and while normally calm, it "gets very powerful when needed".

A total of 205,755 classes from 16,769 elementary schools, including global schools and Japanese schools overseas, participated in the selection process.

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

It's hard to pinpoint the true reason why Japanese obsess over these kinds of things - some say it reminds them of childhood cartoon characters, others say memories of their hometowns. The winning mascots were announced during a ceremony attended by hundreds of students. The new Olympic and Paralympic mascots will be seen in merchandise, stadiums and everything that has to do with the event.

From cute to creepy, mascots are supremely popular in Japan.

The winning designs for the Olympics and the Paralympics were created by Ryo Taniguchi, a 43-year-old character designer and illustrator from Fukuoka Prefecture, whose works have been featured in English-language school textbooks.

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.

2020 Olympics is set to take place from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan. "I just want to tell my beloved wife that I've been chosen".

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