Snow leopard may be Sochi 2014 Olympic mascot

Snow leopard may be Sochi 2014 Olympic mascot

2010-09-18 20:30:00

Sochi (Russia), Sep 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The snow leopard leads the competition for the mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, organisers said Saturday.

A nationwide competition to find a mascot for the 2014 Olympics kicked off Sep 1 in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The mascot ‘should encompass a range of features characteristic of Russia, and at the same time be intelligible to people of every age, profession and nationality’, organisers said earlier.

A special commission will choose the best ideas for the mascot, which then will be improved and developed by professional painters.

Organisers have already received over 3,000 pictures from different regions of Russia.

An online poll, to be held Feb 7, 2011, will determine the Olympic mascot.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

2 thoughts on “Snow leopard may be Sochi 2014 Olympic mascot”

  1. The Sochi 2014 mascot – myths and legends

    Sochi-2014. ©

    Over 3.5 thousand designs have been submitted for the Sochi 2014 Mascot competition, which got underway about a month ago at the website of the XXII Winter Olympics. By tradition, the official presentation of the new mascot will be held three years ahead of the Games, namely in 2011, although the open discussion on the issue is already in full swing on the Internet.

    A rabbit, a rooster, a bear, a tiger, and a seahorse – it seems that none of the animal species living in the vast expanses of Russia has been forgotten, as thousands of Russians of different age and professions join in the creative game. The competition also involves some Russian celebrities. For instance, ice hockey player Alexander Ovechkin proposed a funny sheep with a stick as a mascot. This idea is party shared by fine art expert and sculptor Pyotr Khrisanov, who is also the director of the Sochi Art Museum. In his preferences he proceeds from the legend of the Golden Fleece and is even ready to prove that this myth is directly relevant to the city of Sochi. Among other arguments, he refers to the existence of the Bosporan Kingdom that united the ancient Greek colonies in the northern Black Sea area.

    “These territories were partly exploited by Greek colonists, while the Greek name of the Black Sea was Pontus Euxinus (Hospitable Sea). In my theory, which is by the way an adequate logical explanation, I suppose that Jason sailed exactly to Sochi in search of the Golden Fleece.”

    According to the myth, Jason and his brave companions traveled to the Kingdom of Colchis by ship in his quest for the magical Golden Fleece. The sculptor is convinced that this kingdom was rather big and the Sochi coast could have been part of it back in those times.

    ”That is a golden fleece? I believe it was the skin of a ram containing gold granules. All the rivers of Sochi are gold-bearing and the process of panning out gold has always required the use of ram skins. I therefore believe that the legend of the Golden Fleece is limited to this territory. Moreover, this is an already developed brand, unlike any ski-jumping dolphins which need a new legend. And there is one more thing. Before being admitted to the Olympic Games in Greece, potential participants took part in a sort of “qualifying round”, some of which were held here, in this region. Numerous evidence for this has been discovered along the Black Sea coast, like, for example, the Gorgippia museum in Anapa, displaying a huge tablet with the names of Olympic champions.”

    So, some territories of Russia are of direct relevance to the Olympic Games, Pyotr Khrisanov concludes. By the way, he believes a snow leopard may become an alternative to the mythic golden ram as the Sochi 2014 mascot. The population of these rare and endangered animals living in the region is now being gradually restored, the sculptor says.

    In the meantime, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko said the snow leopard is currently leading the race to be the mascot of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The winning design will be revealed through a public SMS vote in February next year.

  2. Leopard leads Sochi Olympic mascot poll
    Published: Sept. 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    SOCHI, Russia, Sept. 18 (UPI) — The snow leopard was Saturday’s leader in a Russian vote to select the official mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, organizers of the games said.

    The poll is part of a selection process in which a special commission will decide on the best idea and then turn it over to professional artists for a final rendering, RIA Novosti said.

    The mascot is required to “encompass a range of features characteristic of Russia” and also be recognizable to people of different nationalities and age groups. Organizers have already received more than 3,000 images of potential mascots from all over Russia.

    The Sochi games open in the Black Sea resort city Feb. 7, 2014.

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