"The names of Vinicius and Tom are recognised worldwide as a synonym for excellence, which is in line with what we want to achieve with the Rio 2016 Games."
The mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been named Vinicius and Tom following a three week public vote.
Nearly 325,000 people took part in the vote and 44 per cent chose to honour musicians and partners Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim. The two are exponents of Bossa Nova, a movement that made everyone know and sing about the beauties of Rio. They were the creators of The Girl from Ipanema, one of the most played songs in the world.
For the President of the Organising Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the public made the right choice. "The names of Vinicius and Tom are recognised worldwide as a synonym for excellence, which is in line with what we want to achieve with the Rio 2016 Games. In addition to representing the Brazilian fauna and flora, our mascots also connect to the best of our music. We are certain that they will be an inspiration to the youth," he said.
"The choice of the names Vinicius and Tom adds even more "Brazilianness" to our mascots, which are ambassadors of the Games. Their role is to share the messages of the event and the values of the Olympic and Paralympic movements to various audiences, especially children and youth," said Beth Lula, Brand Director of Rio 2016.
The Paralympic mascot is a unique mixture of the Brazilian flora. He is able to constantly transform, with determination and joy growing and overcoming obstacles. In addition to practising Paralympic sports, he is constantly on the move. He believes there is no obstacle too hard to overcome. He can pull anything from his big head of leaves to solve even the hairiest of problems. As the ambassador of the Paralympic Games, he will teach others to bring out their best.
The Olympic mascot represents all of the different animals in Brazil. It 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. This allows him to jump higher, run faster, and become stronger. He has a very acute sense of smell, with a nose for adventure, and amazing powers of hearing, which allows him to find the liveliest fans. He practises all Olympic sports; he is the hyper-connected type with friends all around the world.