May 22, 2017 / 12:10 PM / 3 months ago

On your marks: competition for Tokyo Olympics mascot starts in August

Logos of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are seen on the Mitsui Main Building which is designated as an important national cultural property, as part of the promotional event "Go for 2020 Street" in Tokyo's Nihonbashi shopping and business district, Japan, September 20, 2016.Toru Hanai/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Olympic organisers announced on Monday a competition to design the mascots for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and said elementary school students would vote for the winners.

"We are praying for the birth of a mascot that will be loved and praised by the world," Ryohei Miyata, a member of the organising committee, said at a news conference.

Japanese residents can submit their designs on the Tokyo 2020 official website during a two-week period starting on August 1.

A selection panel will draw up a shortlist for the schoolchildren to vote on. The prizes include tickets to some Olympic events and up to 1 million yen ($8,975) in cash.

The mascot has been a Games tradition dating back to the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France.

More recently, Vinicius, an amalgamation of Brazilian fauna, was the mascot for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Quatchi the sasquatch represented the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, and Olly the kookaburra was created for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.

($1 = 111.4200 yen)

Reporting by Teppei Kasai, Editing by Karishma Singh

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