The organizing committee for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealed the games' mascots Monday, and they are in the true spirit of recent Olympic mascots.
Which is to say, they are slightly odd personifications of the host nation's various features.
“The Rio 2016 mascots represent the diversity of our culture, of our people,” Rio 2016 brand director Beth Lula said.
The yellow Olympics mascot represents Brazil's animals, while the blue mascot designated for the Paralympics embodies a "fusion of plants found in Brazilian forests."
The organizing committee described the Olympics mascot as a combination of "the agility of cats, the sway of monkeys and the grace of birds." The Paralympics mascot "is energised by photosynthesis and can pull any object from his head of leaves."
A poll will be conducted to determine the names for the creations, and results will be revealed on Dec. 14. The sets of names to chosen from are Oba and Eba, Tiba Tuque and Esquindim or Vinicius and Tom.
Whatever name the committee settles on, the mascots seem to be a good follow-up to Fuleco, the bizarre representative of this year's World Cup.
Creating Olympic mascots that please everyone is a challenge that no organizing committee is likely to overcome. But the sense of slight unease the 2016 selections inspire might just unify athletes and spectators alike.