Voting in the selection of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots ended today at elementary schools across Japan. More than 200,000 classes at around 16,000 schools – including Japanese schools overseas – took part in the innovative selection process.
The suspense will keep building until Wednesday 28 February, when the set which attracted the largest number of classroom votes will be announced as the winner.
In December 2017, Tokyo 2020 published a shortlist of mascot design sets, each containing an Olympic and a Paralympic mascot, following a review of more than 2,000 entries submitted by the public during a nationwide competition. Elementary school classes across the country and in Japanese schools overseas were then invited to evaluate the shortlisted designs, with each class asked to cast a single vote in favour of one of the sets.
Ryohei Miyata, Tokyo 2020 Mascot Selection Panel chairperson commented, “I greatly appreciate the participation of so many pupils at elementary schools across Japan and at Japanese schools overseas – their interest and excitement were really inspiring. The involvement of schoolchildren in the mascot selection process provided a great opportunity for younger generations to make their mark on the Tokyo 2020 Games. We hope the chosen mascots will engage athletes, spectators and the wider public across the world as ambassadors for the Tokyo 2020 Games, and that they will live in people's hearts and minds for a long time afterwards.”