Tokyo 2020 lets children choose mascots from 3 finalists


TOKYO (AP) — Japanese schoolchildren will determine the mascot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday unveiled three sets of designs for Games mascots.

The 6.5 million schoolchildren will review the shortlisted designs with their classes casting a single vote in favor of one of the three sets.

The mascots receiving the highest number of classroom votes will be announced as winners Feb. 28, shortly after the Pyeongchang Olympic Closing Ceremony.

A mascot selection panel will then decide names for the winning mascots, which will be unveiled in July or August.

The three finalists were selected from among 2,042 entries submitted by the public, with the winner to be announced on Feb. 28.

The first set is a pair of humanoid characters clad in the “ichimatsu” checkered pattern of the Games’ official logo.

The second set features a “maneki neko” (good-luck cat) and a fox commonly seen at Shinto shrines. The third set features a fox and a dog with gold ribbons on their backs.

The Tokyo Olympics will be July 24-Aug. 9, 2020.

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