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Revealed! Rio 2016 mascots inspired by animals and plants

Last updated on: November 24, 2014 13:10 IST
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Characters were born out of the joy of the Brazilian people at having been awarded the Games

Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascot

The unnamed mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games are pictured with the Copacabana beach in the background during their first appearance in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Alex Ferro/COB/Handout via Reuters

Bright yellow and cat-like, with a green leaf-haired brother, the mascots for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro were launched by organisers late on Sunday.

The mascots, who are said to represent the animals and plants of Brazil, are a key part of the Olympics merchandising campaign which is set to feature 12,000 products and is an important revenue source and a vital way of engaging the public.

Organisers hope to raise 1 billion reais ($398 million) in retail sales from Rio 2016 branded merchandise.

The unnamed mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The unnamed mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photograph: Alex Ferro/COB/Handout via Reuters

The fictional backstory of the characters states they were born out of the joy of the Brazilian people at having been awarded the games.

The Olympic mascot also explains that it also was born out of the explosion of happiness and is ‘a mixture of all the Brazilian animals.’

A public poll will be held to decide their names from a shortlist of Oba and Eba; Tiba Tuque and Esquindim; and Vinicius and Tom.

Organisers are hoping the mascots help engage younger audiences in the Olympics, with a television series starring the mascots planned to run on Brazilian television one year before the games.

"We are close to signing a partnership to produce a TV show," Sylmara Multini, head of licensing for Rio 2016, said, adding they would also be developing apps and games with the mascots.

"The crucial thing is to turn the mascots into characters."

Mascot from the Olympic Games

Fu Niu Lele, the mascot from the Beijing Olympic Games, Mandeville, the mascot from the London Olympic Games, Misha, the mascot from the Moscow Olympic Games, Wenlock, the mascot from the London Olympic Games and Athene, the mascot from the Athens Olympic Games, meet children from the Vila Olímpica de Pedra de Guaratiba project atop Morro da Urca in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The official unveiling of the 2016 Rio mascots followed a flurry of activity featuring former Olympic mascots appearing around the city at famed Rio tourist locations.

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Source: REUTERS
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