You Won’t Believe How the Mascots of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Were Chosen

The 2020 Olympics might still be months away, but the lead up already has people buzzing. With the games in Tokyo, Japan is gearing up to celebrate both their past and present. The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an innovative love letter to Japan and its people in many ways. But the mascots add a dynamic you may not know about. 

Who is the official mascot of the 2020 Olympics?

There are two mascots for the 2020 games. First, there’s Miraitowa, the official mascot of the Olympics. A mashup of the Japanese words for future and eternity, Miraitowa was designed with a blue pattern that’s seen all over the official emblems of the 2020 games.

According to the official Tokyo 2020 website, Miraitowa is a conglomeration of Japanese traditions and modern innovation. An old Japanese proverb, “Learn from the past and develop new ideas,” inspired its personality. As such, it’s cheerful, athletic, and boasts a strong sense of integrity. Miraitowa can also teleport anywhere in the world. 

Who is the official mascot of the 2020 Paralympics?

The official mascot of the 2020 Paralympics is Someity. With a pink aesthetic, Someity has cherry blossom tactile sensors, which it uses for telepathy, flight, and moving objects with its mind. Unlike its partner, Someity is calm and quiet, focusing on an inner strength that emboldens its powers and toughness. 

Like the participants of the Paralympics, Someity works hard and uses its mind and willpower to overcome obstacles. It also loves nature and can communicate with it regularly.

Someity’s name comes from a popular type of cherry blossom as well as the Japanese words for “so mighty.” The mascot’s mental and physical fortitude is a testament to all of the athletes participating despite the obstacles in their way.

How did the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics decide on mascots?

If the choices for the 2020 mascots seem especially childlike, it is because children chose them. Both Miraitowa and Someity were unveiled at a ceremony in Tokyo. Schools went through the selection process to garner excitement for the games that take over Tokyo in July. 

The voting took place over a long period of time, dating back to 2017. Out of over 2,000 entries submitted by the public, these two were the only ones left standing. The massive undertaking polled over six million Japanese schoolchildren.

Who designed the winning mascots? 

The mascots look like something straight out of a Japanese cartoon, which wasn’t an accident. The mascots’ designer, Ryo Taniguchi, wanted them to be a direct reflection of the host country, according to the Japan Times. This marriage of local qualities and the aesthetic built into the emblem guided him. 

“I thought of submitting a proposal, and what came to mind was using the ichimatsu moyo checkered patterns of the [emblems],” Taniguchi told the Japan Times. “I thought there should be a Japanese style since these are the Tokyo Games.”

The Olympics symbolize a lot of things. But in designing these mascots, Taniguchi and the rest of the creative team behind the games helped bolster the excitement of a new generation of Olympic fans.

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