Tokyo 2020: Bug-eyed Olympic mascot hopefuls unveiled

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics on Wednesday unveiled three sets of designs for the Games' mascots. Today, the six finalists for the 2020 Olympics mascot were unveiled in a primary school in Tokyo, and we think they're all winners.

As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, get ready to kick off in February, officials are already looking ahead to the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. There are about 20,000 elementary schools with about 280,000 classrooms nationwide.

The finalists consist of three pairs of mascots, with one for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics.

The final pair in the running to be chosen as the official Games mascots is the "C pairing", with "the fox that jumped out from Japanese fairy tales" and the shape-shifting raccoon that transforms itself using the leaf on its head.

The first final candidate set has an Olympic character based on a futuristic vision of the world, and decorated with a traditional checkered pattern to embody Japan's tradition and innovation. The second set features a "maneki neko" (lucky charm figurine cat) and a fox commonly seen at Shinto shrines.

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Which Tokyo 2020 mascot would you pick?

TV personality Shoko Nakagawa, another member of the screening committee, called the student vote "historic" given that mascots were not used in 1964.

One vote will be allocated to each elementary school class taking part in the poll from Monday through February 22.

The committee is still now accepting participating schools. The victor will be announced on February 28, shortly after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games. Students from Japanese schools outside Japan and from Japan's global schools are also eligible to vote.

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