They were chosen from among the 2,042 entries received
We have finally come down to three mascot design candidates
for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 from among many original entries.
Children at elementary schools across Japan will be making the final selection!
Results of the vote will be announced in late February 2018.
*Pupils from elementary and international schools across Japan will be able to vote. Individual votes by members of the public will not be accepted.
**Please note that votes by postcard or telephone from elementary school students or members of the public will not be accepted.
***Please note that prior registration is required for elementary schools wishing to take part in the voting.
The role of the mascots will include communicating the Olympic and Paralympic spirit, and contributing to the
excitement of the Games during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, at Games venues and around town.
The mascots will take their place in the illustrious history of Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots –
just thinking about it makes us all excited!
The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a major international festival of sport held every four years.
The Games are separated into Summer and Winter editions, and new mascots appear at each Games as
colourful and cheerful representations of the country and culture in which the Games are held.
The mascot for the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 is Soohorang. The mascot takes its motif from a white tiger, which has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. “Sooho” means protection in Korean, while “Rang” derives from the Korean word for tiger. Soohorang is not a fierce animal, but symbolises the protection offered to athletes, spectators and all other people involved in the 2018 Games.
Vinicius was the mascot for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 Games. Vinicius was mixture of different Brazilian animals and was chosen to represent the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature. His design takes inspiration from pop culture, as well as video game and animation characters, and his name was selected from among 323,327 proposals.
The three mascots for the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 Games were the Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard. The mascots were selected following a contest that attracted some 24,048 designs. The final decision was made in a vote by the Russian public as part of a TV programme. In 2012 Russia introduced a new 25-ruble coin featuring the Sochi 2014 mascots.
Wenlock, the mascot of the Olympic Games London 2012, had a metallic appearance. The shape of his head is based on the roof of the Olympic Stadium, and the light on his head is based on those found on London's famous black cabs. His eye is the lens of a camera, enabling Wenlock to film everything he sees.
The mascots for the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 were inspired by the First Nations on the West Coast of Canada. Quatchi is a Sasquatch, a popular character from local legend who lives in the forest. Miga is a sea bear, a mythical animal that is part orca whale and part Kermode bear. The Kermode bear, also called “Bear Spirit” lives only in British Columbia.
The five mascots for the Olympic Games Beijing 2012 form the “Fuwa”, or “good-luck dolls.” Beibei the fish represents water, Jingjing the panda represents the forest, Yingying the Tibetan antelope represents earth, Nini the swallow represents the sky, and Huanhuan symbolises fire and the Olympic spirit.
Neve and Gliz were the mascots for the Olympic Games Turin 2006. Neve is a snowball, and Gliz is an icecube. Neve has fluid form with rounded contours, and embodies harmony and elegance of movement. The angular and smooth shapes of Gliz recall the power and strength of athletes.
Named after ancient Greek Gods, Phoebos and Athena were the mascots for the Olympic Games Athens 2004. “Phoebos” is another name for Apollo, the god of light and music, while “Athena” is the goddess of wisdom and protector of the city of Athens. Phoebos and Athena are brother and sister, and are depicted in the shape of a “daidala,” an ancient bell-shaped terracotta doll.
The three mascots for the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake City 2002 were Powder, a snowshoe hare, Copper, a coyote, and Coal, a black bear. The names are a nod to Utah's natural resources, its snow and its land. Over 42,000 schoolchildren submitted suggestions for the mascots' names, and a national vote was held to chose their final names.
The first time three mascots were used was at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000. Syd was a duck-billed platypus; Olly, a kookaburra; and Millie, a spiny anteater. The three mascots symbolise water, air and earth respectively. Their names also have a specific significance: Syd represents the host city of Sydney; Olli is a reference to the Olympics; and Millie refers to the new millennium.
"Snowlets" was the collective name for the mascots for the Olympic Games Nagano 1998. They consisted of four owls named Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki. Sukki represents fire, Nokki symbolises air, Lekki represents earth and Tsukki symbolizes water. "Snow" was intended to invoke the winter season, while “lets” refers to “let’s”, an invitation to join in the Games celebrations. The names of the four Snowlets were chosen from among 47,484 suggestions.
Izzy was the mascot for the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996. In a departure from previous mascots, Izzy was neither human nor animal, but an information technology creation. Izzy was designed and named by the children of Atlanta.
Haakon and Kristin, the mascots for the Olympic Games Lillehammer 1994, are a tribute to two historical 13th century figures who hailed from the Lillehammer region. Although they wear medieval clothes in a nod to their historical roots, they are happy, modern children. For the Games, eight pairs of Norwegian children were selected from about 10,000 candidates to play the role of the “living mascots.”
Cobi was the mascot for the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992. Cobi represents a Pyrenean Mountain Dog in human form depicted in a Cubist style. Reactions to Cobi were somewhat mixed at first, but the mascot grew in popularity during the months leading up to the Games, and ultimately proved a huge success. Cobi even had his own TV cartoon series.
Magique, the mascot for the Olympic Games Albertville 1992, was the first non-animal mascot since Innsbruck 1976. Designed as a star in the colours of the French flag, his shape was intended to symbolise dreams and imagination.
The choice of tiger as the mascot for the Olympic Games Seoul 1988 was made from a shortlist featuring four different animals: a rabbit, a squirrel, a mandarin duck and a tiger. The eventual design was chosen from among 4,344 entries submitted by people across the Republic of Korea, meanwhile his name, "Hadori" was chosen from among 2,295 suggestions.
Hidy and Howdy, the mascots for the Olympic Games Calgary 1988, are polar bears, symbolic of Canada’s Arctic regions. The mascots are brother and sister, and their names were chosen to represent the Calgary region's hospitality. These names were chosen by a citizens' jury following a contest organised by Calgary Zoo that attracted almost 7,000 entries.
Modelled on the US national emblem the eagle, Sam was selected as the mascot for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984. Sam has a cheerful and lively personality which made him popular with children, and the mascot even had his own TV cartoon show.
The Olympic Winter Games Sarajevo 1984 mascot, Vučko, came in the guise of a wolf, an animal typically found in the forests of the Dinaric Alps region. The wolf is a prominent figure in Yugoslavian fables, associated with winter and embodying courage and strength. Vučko was a friendly character and helped to change the usually ferocious image of the wolf.
The mascot for the Olympic Games Moscow 1980 was Misha, the bear, who was very popular in the then Societ Union. Misha's design was chosen from some 45,000 ideas submitted by people in the Soviet Union. Prior to the Games, Misha even travelled in a Soyuz rocket to spend some time on the Salyut 6 space station.
A raccoon was chosen to represent the Olympic Games Lake Placid 1980. The raccoon is a familiar animal from the mountainous region of the Adirondacks where Lake Placid is situated. The mascot’s name, Roni, was chosen by schoolchildren in the Lake Placid area.
Amik the beaver was the mascot for the Olympic Games Montreal 1976. Beavers are iconic in Canada and feature on coins and postage stamps. The beaver is well known for its patience, perseverance and intelligence. It has played an important role in the development of Canada. Amik had a ribbon around its body featuring the emblem of the Games.
Schneemann, which means ‘snowman’ in German, was the mascot for the Olympic Games Innsbruck 1976. Schneemann proved to be a huge commercial success and was featured on t-shirts, stickers, cushions, keyrings, glassware and as a soft toy.
The first official mascot in the history of the Olympic Summer Games was Waldi, who was introduced at the Munich 1972 Games. Waldi was modelled on a dachshund – a breed of dog that is very popular in Japan. Waldi symbolises perseverance and flexibility under pressure, and has a very strong heart; all characteristics of the top-level athlete.
The very first Olympic mascot was presented at the Olympic Winter Games Grenoble 1968. Going by the name of Schuss, the mascot proved a hit. Since then, every edition of the Olympic Games has featured a mascot whose charateristics symbolise the particular edition of the Games.
The mascot for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games is an Asiatic black bear named “Bandabi.” The black bear often appears in Korean folk tales, and is closely associated with the Korean people and their culture. In Korea, the bear is symbolic of strong will and courage, and the Asiatic Black Bear is also the symbol animal of Gangwon Province, where the PyeongChang 2018 Games will be held.
Tom, the Paralympic mascot of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, is a unique mixture of the Brazilian flora. He is able to constantly transform, with determination and joy derived from growing and overcoming obstacles. He can pull a diverse array of items from his large head of leaves and use them to solve even the most difficult of problems.
Ray of Light and Snowflake were the mascots of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Ray of Light came from a different planet that was perpetually hot, while Snowflake hailed from a planet that was perpetually cold. Together the two mascots invented the sports of ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
Mandeville is one half of the mascot team Wenlock & Mandeville that were created for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The pair’s body is made of polished steel to reflect the appearances and personalities of people they meet. Their eyes are cameras and the yellow lights on their foreheads are reminiscent of the lamps used by London taxis.
The mascot for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games was Sumi, who was modelled on an orca whale. The name “Sumi” actually referes to a guardian spirit, and the mascot protects all who take part in the Games with its arms that are actually the wings of the thunderbird and its legs that are those of a black bear.
The cow Fu Niu Lele was selected as the mascot of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. The mascot’s name literally means “Good Luck! (Fu), Cow (Niu) and Happiness (Lele).” Fu Niu Lele was chosen only after the original 87 designs for a mascot were all rejected for various reasons.
As snowflakes are unique, so too is each individual athlete participating in the Paralympic Games. This message is embodied by Aster, the mascot of the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.
Proteas the seahorse, designed by Spyros Gogos, was selected as the mascot of the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. It was a departure from the design of previous mascots, and its designer sought to create what he felt best represented the nature of the competitions and the athletes’ constant goal of achieving excellence.
Otto the otter, the Paralympic mascot for the Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Winter Games, was chosen because of the otter’s long association with the US State of Utah. Native American tribes once living there considered it to be one of the most powerful animals. Having nearly reached extinction in the early 20th century, otters were successfully reintroduced into the wild, and are now thriving once again.
Lizzy, the frill-necked Lizard was chosen as the mascot for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. The frill of the Paralympic mascot is coloured in green and gold and is shaped in the form of Australia, while the ochre body mirrors the colour of the land. Lizzy’s strength, determination and attitude symbolise all Paralympic athletes participating at the Games.
For the Nagano 1998 Paralympic Winter Games, a white rabbit with one green and one red ear was selected. A competition was held among students to find a name for the Paralympic mascot, and the designation “Parabbit” was chosen from among 3,408 different entries.
Blaze is the name of the phoenix that was chosen as the mascot for the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. He was selected not only as a symbol of renewal, perseverance and determination, but also due to the significance of the phoenix as a symbol for the city of Atlanta. The mascot personifies the will and determination of people with an impairment to achieve full and rewarding lives for themselves.
Sondre the Troll, the mascot for the Lillehammer 1994 Paralympic Winter Games, is based on the trolls depicted in Scandinavian folklore. The one-legged skiing troll was created as a result of a nationwide competition among schools. The name “Sondre” was chosen for the Paralympic mascot as a reference to Sondre Norheim, one of the pioneers of modern skiing.
Petra, the Paralympic mascot for the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games, was designed by a well-known Spanish designer and illustrator. Petra is depicted as an honest, diplomatic, energetic and brave girl. She has no arms, which symbolises that she does not possess any weapons, and represents peace and harmony.
Alpy, the mascot for the Albertville 1992 Paralympic Winter Games, is shaped in the form of the Grande Motte, a mountain that forms part of the Massif de la Vanoise. The Paralympic mascot is depicted on mono-ski to highlight its athleticism and skill.
The mascots for the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games were known as Gomdoori, whose name is derived from the Korean word for “teddy bear.” While bears are commonly associated with wisdom and courage, the pair is depicted with their legs tied together, symbolising the ability to overcome adversity through cooperation and to encourage mankind to work together peacefully and harmoniously.
The Paralympic mascot of the New York 1984 Games was named Dan D. Lion. He wore running shoes and a jogging outfit. The name was chosen following a vote by students at a special education institution for students with severe physical impairments.