The mascots for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been named Vinicius and Tom respectively, following a public vote.
"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,” said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.
The mascots, which were unveiled on 23 November, are inspired by the various animals and plants found in Brazil and will play a key role in engaging the public – and especially young people – in the build-up to the 2016 Olympic Games.
“In addition to representing the Brazilian fauna and flora, our mascots also connect to the best of our music,” added Nuzman. “We are certain that they will be an inspiration to the youth.”
Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim were two of the best-known pioneers of the bossa nova genre of music – a fusion of samba and jazz – that developed in Brazil in the 1950s and 1960s. The duo also wrote The Girl from Ipanema – one of the most played songs in the world.
“The choice of the names Vinicius and Tom adds even more ‘Brazilianness’ to our mascots, which are ambassadors of the Games,” added Beth Lula, Brand Director of Rio 2016. “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.”