The official mascot for 2020 Olympics has been decided. It is a creature with a smiling face and futuristic features on its body, its name is Miraitowa.
The name itself is Japanese, derived from two words: Mirai which means future and Otowa which means eternity. According to the statement from the official site of the Olympics, the name was chosen to promote a future of eternal hope in the hearts of people all over the world. The appearance of the mascot is said to resemble a robot and a feline superhero. The mascot’s forehead is embedded with the ichimatsu pattern, the official emblem of Tokyo Games 2020.
The mascot design of the 2020 Olympics wasn’t given exclusively for a certain person, it was through a competition process in 2017 and 2018. The designs were submitted to the committee for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which then selected three pairs of unnamed mascots for further selection process. The final voting was made by elementary school students to select the final pair as the official mascot. The interesting fact is that only Japanese elementary school students were given the rights to vote. It was about 75% of all elementary school students in Japan who participated in the voting.
The Japanese people indeed designed this mascot character very thoroughly. It even has its own personality. It is described in the official site that the mascot’s personality is inspired by an old Japanese proverb “learn from the past and develop new ideas”. Miraitowa the mascot lives in the digital world, but he can choose to appear in the real world via the internet. Also, Miraitowa has the power to teleport anywhere instantly. The mascot’s first appearance was during the naming ceremony at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya. During its first appearance, Miraitowa showed his teleportation skill by instantly teleporting to Asakusa to meet its fans.
Besides as the icon for the event, the mascot was expected to help the country financially. The Olympic officials stated that they expected the mascot to generate at least $130 million from merchandising and licensing to fund the country. According to the study in 2016, it is found that the actual cost for holding the Olympics could be four times the original budgeting plan. Meanwhile, after the Olympic Games come to an end, Tokyo must transfer all the rights of the mascots to the International Olympic Committee. This rule is created so that the country could not monetize the mascot afterwards.
The organizers for the Tokyo Olympics also prepared a huge surprise for the mascot fans. It was announced back in July 2019 that there would be the robot version of the mascot which would be present during the game. The robot would be programmed to perform facial expressions like smiles and gestures like shaking hands. Toyota collaborated to create the robot, which prototype was included in the press event in November 2019. Although the robot was still a concept, it was quite entertaining with its eye display and remotely controlled joints. With the presence of this robot mascot, the Olympic Games would surely be more exciting and interesting.