Mascots unveiled for 2016 Olympics and Paralympics | TeamSA - TeamSA

Mascots unveiled for 2016 Olympics and Paralympics

The wait is over! The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots have been unveiled.

Inspired by Brazil’s fauna and flora, the duo feature various pop culture influences, along with elements of animation and computer game characters.

‘The Rio 2016 mascots represent the diversity of our culture, of our people,’ said Beth Lula, the Rio 2016 Brand Director.

‘They represent our joy, our way of being. Both of them are magical creatures with super powers and relate naturally with the young audience, who we want to engage with our event so much.’

The origin of the Rio 2016 mascots blends fiction and reality. According to the story, on 2 October 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was elected to host the Games, the great explosion of joy amongst Brazilians was felt by nature and from this energy the mascots were born. Find out more about the mascots’ origins here.

The Olympic mascot represents all of the different animals in Brazil. He combines the agility of cats, the sway of monkeys and the grace of birds. He can stretch his arms and legs as much as he wants. The Paralympic mascot is a fusion of plants found in Brazilian forests. He is energised by photosynthesis and can pull any object from his head of leaves. He is always growing and overcoming obstacles.

Both mascots have their own Facebook and Twitter profiles and share a special website full of fun activities for kids.

‘The mascots are one of the most important symbols of the Games because they create an emotional link with the public, especially children, and are genuine ambassadors for the event,’ added Lula.

‘The mascots are one of the most representative symbols of the Games. Their purpose is to delight and engage the audience, particularly the children’, said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rio 2016 wants the public to help name the mascots. The poll is already open and you can vote for your choice from a shortlist of three pairs of names: one for the Olympic mascot, the other for the Paralympic mascot, respectively. The choices are Oba and Eba, Tiba Tuque and Esquindim, and Vinicius and Tom. You can find out more about these names, and vote for your choice, at or on the Rio 2016 Twitter feed. The winning names will be announced on 14 December.

The mascots were created by Birdo Produções, a São Paulo-based design and animation company that has won numerous international awards. Led by founders Luciana Eguti and Paulo Muppet, Birdo is considered one of the most creative animation studios in the world.

Birdo were selected from a national tender process that involved advertising, design, illustration and animation companies. Rio 2016 invited directors from Anima Mundi – the leading animation festival in the Americas – to be consultants during the tender process.