Rio Games choose yellow feline as mascot

Rio De Janeiro: The Rio Olympic Games have their mascot, a yellow feline animal representing Brazil's rich fauna and wildlife. But it remains for the public to choose a name after Sunday night's unveiling on Globo television.

The animal is a mixture of Brazilian creatures -- part cat but able to spring about like a monkey -- with a dash of blue and green added to the predominant yellow in a nod to Brazil's national colours. The Paralympic Games mascot is a predominantly blue and green figure whose head is covered with leaves -- depicting once again the host country's rich vegetation as Brazil prepares to welcome the Olympics to South America for the first time.

"The mascots are one of the most representative symbols of the Games. Their mission is to enchant and involve the public, children especially," Organising Committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman told Globo.
It remains only for the public to decide on a name, choosing from a range of options.

Possibilities respectively for the Olympic and Paralympic figures are Oba and Eba -- joyful expressions in Brazil -- Tiba Tuque and Esquindim, native words, and Vinicius and Tom, after famous Brazilian musicians Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim.

Organisers hope the mascots, 'born' from the joy of the Brazilian people in landing the Games in 2009, will lead multi-million dollar merchandising for the Olympics once the public at large have decided on names via a vote on the event's official internet and Twitter sites. The mascots were due for an official presentation later Monday.

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