Mascot designs for 2020 Tokyo Olympics shortlisted

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Schoolchildren pose with a shortlist of three pairs of official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascots during a photo session at Kakezuka elementary school in Tokyo December 2017. Tokyo Olympic organizers unveiled a shortlist of three official 2020 Games mascots Dec. 7 — from bug-eyed cartoon heroes to cuddly raccoons. (AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)
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Schoolchildren pose beside a pair of official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascots, one of three shortlisted pairs to be unveiled, at Kakezuka elementary school in Tokyo on December 2017. Tokyo Olympic organizers unveiled a shortlist of three official 2020 Games mascots Dec. 7 — from bug-eyed cartoon heroes to cuddly raccoons. (AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)
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Schoolchildren pose beside a pair of official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascots, one of three shortlisted pairs to be unveiled, at Kakezuka elementary school in Tokyo on December 2017. Tokyo Olympic organizers unveiled a shortlist of three official 2020 Games mascots Dec. 7 — from bug-eyed cartoon heroes to cuddly raccoons. (AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)
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Schoolchildren pose beside a pair of official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games mascots, one of three shortlisted pairs to be unveiled, at Kakezuka elementary school in Tokyo on December 2017. Tokyo Olympic organizers unveiled a shortlist of three official 2020 Games mascots Dec. 7 — from bug-eyed cartoon heroes to cuddly raccoons. (AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)
Updated 07 December 2017

Mascot designs for 2020 Tokyo Olympics shortlisted

TOKYO: Japanese schoolchildren will help determine the mascot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday unveiled three sets of designs for the 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 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 are scheduled for July 24 to Aug. 9, 2020.


Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

Updated 08 July 2020

Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

  • The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded

SHANGHAI: The retirement of two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan signals the end of a golden era of Chinese sporting superstars, state media said on Tuesday.

Arguably the greatest badminton player of all time, the 36-year-old said on Saturday that he was bringing the curtain down on a career that also brought five world titles.

NBA All-Star Yao Ming, Olympic gold-medal hurdler Liu Xiang and two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Li Na have all retired in the last decade.

“With the ‘Super Dan’ curtain call, people cannot help but sigh,” Xinhua news agency said.

“The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded.

“When will the next Lin Dan appear? Or when will the next Yao Ming, Liu Xiang and Li Na appear?

“Where is the next Chinese sports superstar who will create a collective memory for us?”

The quartet were not just world leaders in their sport and popular in China, but also had “considerable influence in the international arena and became a window for the world to understand China,” Xinhua said.

Of prominent Chinese athletes left, women’s volleyball player Zhu Ting has the potential to rise to superstar level, Xinhua said, while disgraced swimmer Sun Yang “enjoys high popularity (in China), but unfortunately he is banned.” 

The 28-year-old is appealing against an 8-year ban for refusing to give a doping sample. The three-time Olympic freestyle champion’s career will effectively be over if he loses his appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

China has world champions in other sports, and finished third behind the US and Britain in the medal table at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but they are not generally well-known even inside the country, Xinhua said.

Table tennis player Zhang Jike, another three-time Olympic gold medalist, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lin, said the Oriental Sports Daily.

But at 32 his best days are behind him and as far back as 2016 he signaled his intention to retire, before having a change of heart.

“When will the next Lin Dan and China’s next sports superstar appear again?” asked the newspaper.

“This question may not be answered in a short space of time.”