Straight from the mouth of V. Putin we learn why the leopard, polar bear and hare were chosen mascots of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The mascots were chosen following a nationwide text vote in 2010. The snow leopard, in particular, according to Putin, is symbolic of the new Russia he envisions.
This is a collective image, which tells us that Russia is very diverse…[Russia] is beautiful for its diversity, and the fact that one of the symbols of the Olympics has become an animal that we are reviving, and which was destroyed by humans in 50s of the last century, suggests that Russia is becoming different.
There were 1.4 million votes for the Olympic mascots and from there were 13 finalists. They included the dolphin, polar and brown bears, matryoshka dolls, snowflake and bullfinch, made it into the final.
Also in the selection was the Russian Santa Claus, the bird that looks like the Twitter symbol and Fire Boy, who we adore but suspect didn’t pass Putin’s anti-gay radar.
The three which became the final choices were the leopard, the polar bear and the hare. All together, the three gathered a total of 62% of the votes, with 28% cast in favor of the leopard, 18% in favor of the polar bear and 16% in favor of the hare.
The prime minister said he wanted the snow leopard to be the mascot.
[Russia] cares for nature, cares about its resources, restoring it for future generations.
According to one report, the crowd favourite was a fluffy blue frog name Zoich, who had a little crown on his head and Olympic rings for his eyes.
And we aren’t saying anything, but the fact that Zoich couldn’t account for a period of his life when he developed a “friendship” with another fluffy blue frog may have led to his dismissal.
Photo credit: Press service of the Sochi-2014 Organizing Committee