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Mascot voting begins for Tokyo 2020

19 Dec 2017
Tokyo, Japan, December 19, 2017: Voting for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots got underway on December 11 with 6.5 million children at elementary schools across Japan given the opportunity to choose their favourite designs from three shortlisted pairs.Over the next 10 weeks, each class will get to cast a single vote for two mascots – one for the Olympic Games and one for the Paralympic Games.

The shortlist of three pairs of designs was revealed on December 7 following a review of 2,042 entries submitted by the public. By allowing schoolchildren to determine the final designs, the Tokyo 2020 organisers are aiming to engage the youth of Japan, encouraging discussion of Olympic topics and making them fully fledged stakeholders in the Games.

“This is an innovative way of engaging the public in the Olympic Movement, especially the young children,” commented IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates during a visit to the Japanese capital. “Interest in the Games will only increase from here, especially as kids from more than 20,000 schools all over Japan begin voting on their favourite mascot today.”

Among the first schools to cast their ballots on December 11 was Tobitakyu Elementary School in the Chofu district of the Japanese capital, home to both the Tokyo Stadium, which will host the football, rugby sevens and modern pentathlon events at Tokyo 2020, and the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, which will host badminton and the fencing component of the modern pentathlon.

Engaging schoolchildren in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 is a key strand of the organisers’ strategy.  Elementary school classes – including those at international schools in Japan or Japanese schools abroad – have until February 22 to cast their votes. The pair of mascots receiving the most votes will be announced on February 28.

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