The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots have been unveiled.

Inspired by Brazil’s fauna and flora, the duo feature various pop culture influences, along with elements of animation and computer game characters.

“The Rio 2016 mascots represent the diversity of our culture, of our people,” said Beth Lula, the Rio 2016 brand director.

“They represent our joy, our way of being. Both of them are magical creatures with super powers and relate naturally with the young audience, who we want to engage with our event so much.”

The origin of the Rio 2016 mascots blends fiction and reality. According to the story, on October 2, 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was elected to host the Games, the great explosion of joy among Brazilians was felt by nature and from this energy the mascots were born.

The Olympic mascot represents all of the different animals in Brazil. He 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.

The Paralympic mascot is a fusion of plants found in Brazilian forests. He is energised by photosynthesis and can pull any object from his head of leaves. He is always growing and overcoming obstacles.

Both mascots have their own Facebook (Olympic and Paralympic) and Twitter profiles (Olympic and Paralympic) and share a special website full of fun activities for kids.

“The mascots are one of the most important symbols of the Games because they create an emotional link with the public, especially children, and are genuine ambassadors for the event,” added Lula.