Russia is choosing Olympic mascot
More than 14,000 bids, including from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United States and even Australia, have been posted since the contest was launched in early September.
In an unprecedented move in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic movement, the mascot will be chosen by ordinary citizens, and not the Olympics’ organizing committee. The most popular characters are bears, rabbits, dolphins, tigers, leopards, snowmen, matryoshkas, and also Grandfather Frost and Cheburashka. Chief of the Sochi-2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko told reporters he had no idea what the future mascot would look like.
Of course, I have my own preferences, shaped by my children’s taste. The mascot must, in the first place, be original, unmatched and appeal to children, and it must also symbolize the epoch and advance Olympic and Paralympic values.
Olesya Vladykina, a 2008 Beijing Paralympics champion and an ambassador of the Sochi Games, came up with her own mascot.
My mascot is a fish on a snowboard because I myself am a swimmer and the fish spirit is very close to me, and also because Sochi is both a Black Sea resort and a mountain skiing resort. In my opinion, this mascot reflects the Olympic and Paralympic values: determination, courage and inspiration.
Mascot bids can be submitted until December 5. And then a competent jury will step in. Moviemakers, cartoonists, market analysts and athletes will draw up a short list of finalists. The winner will be chosen during a live TV vote on February 7, 2011, exactly three years before the Sochi Olympics’ opening ceremony.