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The Hare, the Polar Bear, and the Leopard have been chosen as the new official mascots of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The decision was made by the Russian public following a live television show “Talismaniya Sochi 2014 – The Final”. The leopard collected 28 per cent of the votes, while the polar bear picked-up 18 per cent, and the hare 16 per cent. A Ray of Light and a Snowflake were selected by a jury of Paralympians to be the mascots of the Paralympic Games.
IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy commented on the Olympic mascot result: “I would like to congratulate the Russian people and the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee on choosing the Hare, Polar Bear and Leopard as mascots. I have no doubt that this tremendous trio will bring the Games to a whole new generation, helping to promote Sochi 2014 and the Olympic values across Russia and the world.”
The authors of the design ideas that appeared in the final received certificates to attend the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2014, with the winners being awarded commemorative medals and gifts. The winning authors were: Oleg Serdechniy from Sochi (Polar Bear), Vadim Pak from Nakhodka (Leopard), and Silviya Petrova from New Buyanovo Village (Hare). In addition, all the finalists were able to visit the Sochi 2014 offices before the vote and meet Sochi 2014’s President, Dmitry Chernyshenko.
The Russia-wide contest to select the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games mascot designs ran from 1 September until 5 December 2010. A total of 24,048 submissions were received during the competition. An expert panel then selected a group of 11 mascot ideas that went through to the second stage of the contest: the Hare, the Dolphin, the Polar Bear, the Brown Bear, the Bullfinch, the Leopard, the Snowflake, the Sun, the Ray of Light, Father Frost, and Matryoshka Dolls. The final images of the candidates were presented to the Russian people on 7 February 2011 on the TV show “Talismaniya - The beginning” after being created by professional animation artists. The final vote and show were conducted on 26 February 2011.
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.