Sochi Unveils Mascot Shortlist
With three years to go until the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee has unveiled its short list of mascots for the Games. The 11 sets of characters were presented live on national TV in 30-second animated segments, so that the Russian population could get to know them. The potential mascots include Grandfather Frost, a brown bear, a snow leopard, a polar bear, a little doe hare, a little sun, star children, a bullfinch, Matryoshki and a dolphin.
There will now be a national vote at the end of February to select the official mascot, or mascots, for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The show will include not just the shortlisted mascots but also sport and show-business stars from across Russia. The winners of the national competition for the best mascot idea will also be announced on the show.
The mascot competition was launched on 1 September 2010, and people were given three months to send in their ideas. More than one million people followed the competition online, with thousands of new designs being submitted every week. Over 24,000 drawings were submitted by the close of the contest. The concepts were then looked at by a jury of experts, and a short list of ideas was decided upon before being given over to professional designers to create the figures that we see today.
The jury of experts that examined the different submissions from the public included representatives of Russian culture, sport and show-business, including Yuri Bashmet, Igor Butman, Fedor Bondarchuk, Olesya Vladykina, Nikolai Drozdov, Svetlana Zhurova, Natalya Ionova, Mikhail Kusnirovich, Tatyana Navka, Gor Nakhapetyan, Vladimir Pirozhkov, Alexander Popov, Vitaly Smirnov, Oleg Tabakov, Mikhail Terentiev, Anatoliy Prokhorov and Svyatoslav Ushakov. The jury was chaired by Konstantin Ernst.
Sochi was elected as the host city for the XXII Olympic Winter Games at the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala City on 4 July 2007. Sochi won the vote against the cities of Salzburg (Austria) and PyeongChang (Republic of Korea) in the second round of voting. The Russian city edged out PyeongChang 51 votes to 47, with Salzburg having been eliminated in round one. The Sochi Games will play host to the seven Olympic winter sports currently on the Olympic programme, and will run from 7 to 23 February 2014.