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Rio 2016 Olympic, Paralympic mascots’ names unveiled

Rio 2016 mascots

Courtesy Rio 2016

The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic mascots’ names are Vinicius and Tom, respectively.

Those names won a public vote over two other sets of names, tallying 44 percent of 323,327 votes, according to the Rio Olympic Organizing Committee.

The other choices were Oba and Eba and Tiba Tuque and Esquindim.

The 2016 Olympics, the first to be held in South America, are 600 days away. The Opening Ceremony is Aug. 5, 2016.

Rio organizers explained the meaning behind Vinicius and Tom:

Vinicius and Tom honor 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. A well-tuned duo, like our mascots.

The Rio mascots were unveiled Nov. 23, along with a three-week vote on the names.

The mascots are magical creatures with super powers and both male, Rio 2016 brand director Beth Lula said.

The Olympic mascot represents the animals of Brazil -- the agility of cats, sway of monkeys and grace of birds. He can stretch his arms and legs as much as he wants.

The Paralympic mascot represents the plants of Brazilian forests. He can pull any object from his head of leaves.

The London Olympic mascot was named Wenlock. The London Paralympic mascot was named Mandeville.

The Sochi Olympic mascots were Belya Mishka the polar bear, Zaika the hare and Amur the snow leopard.

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Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Sochi Olympic mascots did not have names.