By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, July 19, 2013
Meet Pachi the Porcupine, Toronto’s Pan Am mascot
Pachi the Porcupine was greeted with plenty of applause at the CBC’s Broadcast Centre in Toronto on Wednesday.
And fittingly enough, that’s what the name of the official mascot for the 2015 Pan American Games represents when translated from Japanese.
“Pachi” is derived from a Japanese phrase meaning “clapping with joy,” and that’s exactly what enthusiastic kids and parents alike were doing when the multi-coloured mascot was unveiled at Kids’ CBC Days.
But the four Grade 8 students from Markham, Ont. — whose design was chosen after earning the most votes in an online nationwide poll, beating out more than 4,000 entries — were caught off-guard by this kind of reception.
“It’s unbelievable, because we were never expecting anything like this,” Jenny Lee, who along with Buttonville Public School classmates Fiona Hong, Paige Kunihiro and Michelle Ing, came up with the design as part of a school project, told the CBC’s Charlsie Agro.
But what may be equally surprising may be how the design — which includes 41 multi-coloured quills to represent all nations competing at the Games — began coming to fruition.
“[The name] came to me once when I was reading my manga book, which is a Japanese comic book. There was a Japanese phrase called ‘pachi pachi,’ and in English it translates to ‘clapping with joy,”‘ said Kunihiro. “We know that in the Pan Am Games there’s going to be a lot of cheering on our favourite athletes and superstars.” (Source: CBC Sports)