Anyone who considers themselves an Olympic Games buff must reserve a special place in their hearts for the often weird and wonderful mascots we’re presented with every four (now five) years.
Miraitowa is certainly a step up from “Wenlock” who was given the tough task of bigging up the London 2012 Olympics and resembled a blob of inanimate grey matter.
But it’s all part of the fun and games of both the Summer and Winter Olympics (who first introduced the concept with ‘Schuss’ in 1962).
Although unofficially recognised by the Olympics themselves, some hold that a black Scottish terrier called ‘Smokey’ was the first Olympic mascot – and the only one that was a real, animate living creature.
Enough history for now, here’s everything we know about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics mascot Miraitowa:
Who is the Tokyo Olympics mascot?
Named ‘Miraitowa’, he is a blue and white robot (of course) that has the same pattern as the Tokyo Olympics official emblem dubbed ‘ichimatsu’.
Miraitowa has some special powers such as the ability to teleport, and is remarkably athletic – according to his creator Japanese illustrator Ryo Taniguchi.
The mascot was chosen by children from more than 16,000 elementary schools in Japan and has a personality that is said to be inspired by the Japanese proverb, ‘learn from the past and develop new ideas’.
What does the name Miraitowa mean?
The name Miraitowa derives from the Japanese words, ‘mirai’ meaning ‘future’, and ‘towa’ meaning ‘eternity’. Miraitowa symbolises the aim of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which is that they will ‘lead to a future of everlasting hope in the hearts of everyone around the world’. Modest enough then.
Who is the Tokyo Paralympics mascot?
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics mascot is also a robot called ‘Someity’, and is designed by the same creator of Miraitowa Ryo Taniguchi. Similar looking to Miraitowa, Someity has a pink and white checkered pattern instead of blue and can fly using her cape and also send telepathic messages.
Someity is sometimes depicted in a wheelchair, and is said to have a “calm” personality but can be very fierce when called upon.