Check out the superhero mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Japan unveils Tokyo 2020 Olympics superhero mascots

"The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games finally have their mascots", said Ryohei Miyata, head of the mascot selection panel. Experts whittled the list down to three design pairs, which were then opened up for voting by millions of school students across Japan. The winning Olympic and Paralympic mascots have not yet been given names, but they are said to "respect each other" and are "very good friends". The description for the mascot says that it has a kind heart that loves nature and dignified inner strength.

The losing pairs were a lucky cat and a fox of Design B and Design C's glum fox and raccoon.

More than 2,000 individuals and groups submitted designs for the event but only two were chosen after the long process.

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A total of 6.5 million Japanese children - from schools in the country and overseas - cast their vote between December 11 and February 22 and then the unveiling happened. "I'm just so spaced out at the moment", he said when the decision was announced.

The winning mascots, picked from a shortlist of three designs, are a pair of 'animated nondescript creatures.' They were created by Japanese illustrator Ryo Taniguchi. A total of 205,755 classes from 16,769 elementary schools, including Japanese schools overseas, voted in the competition, which ran until February 22.

BC-OLY-Tokyo 2020-Mascots, 122 Futuristic digital characters selected as Tokyo 2020 mascotsAP Photo XEH108, XEH107, XEH101, XEH102, XEH103, XEH104, XEH105, XEH106Eds: APNewsNow.

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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.

"It's quite innovative, I like the blue-check pattern while the pink one uses cherry blossoms and it shows traditional Japan", said Miyu Kawa, a 12-year-old student at Hoyonomori Gakuen School, where the selection was announced.

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