February, 26th, Moscow, Russia – The Hare, Polar Bear and Leopard have been chosen as the official Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games mascots following the results of a public vote during the live television show "Talismaniya Sochi 2014 - The Final” on Channel One. The Ray of Light and the Snowflake will be the Paralympic Winter Games mascots in 2014.
Commenting on the results of the live vote, Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said:
“Today, the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have adopted its own symbols and, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Movement, the whole country was involved in choosing the mascots. There are three mascots for the Olympic Winter Games, representing the three places on the Olympic podium. All top-three characters according to the Olympic system will become the Olympic Winter Games mascots. The mascots are the choice of the whole our country and will remain in the history of the Olympic movement”.
The Russian people were voting by sending a text message to the number “2014” or calling a free phone line, with a specific phone number for each mascot candidate. An equal possibility to vote was provided by the Sochi 2014 Partners Megaphone and Rostelecom and the Channel One experts to all russian citizens, no matter in what time zone they live.
At 11.20 pm (GTM+3 hours) the final results of the vote were announced. The election council made the decision that the top-three characters with maximum number of votes would all become the Olympic Winter Games mascots: the Polar Bear, the Hare and the Leopard.
The honour of selecting the Paralympic Winter Games mascot was given to the Paralympic champions. After a period of deliberation, representatives of the Paralympic Movement - the Paralympic Games champion and the general secretary of Russian Paralympic committee Mikhail Terentiev, the Paralympic champion and the Sochi 2014 Ambassador Olesya Vladykina, and Paralympic sportsmen Alexander Alyabyev, Vladimir Kiselyov, Margarita Koptilova, Xenia Ovsyannikova and Igor Pustovit – have named Ray of Light and Snowflake as the Paralympic Winter Games mascots.
Commenting on the Paralympic Winter Games mascot selection, Mikhail Terentiev said:
“It’s the great honor for us to choose the symbol of the first Paralympic Games in history of our country. The Games will help to deliver positive changes to the lives of millions of people with a disability. It is very important to us that the millions of people living with a disability can find hope and understand that they can achieve incredible goals.
“The story of our fantastic mascots is that they arrived from a far-out planet and that they have infinite potential. It is a highly powerful and emotional image that, despite the difference in their make-up, the Ray of Light and the Snowflake are so united. I’m sure our two mascots will provide further inspiration to our future Paralympic champions and will help to develop Paralympic sports in Russia.”
Following the contest regulations, all the rights to the mascot images have now passed to the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. All of the authors of the designs that appeared in the final have received certificates for attending the opening ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2014. The authors of the design ideas, which became prototypes of the mascots, have also been awarded with commemorative medals and gifts from the Sochi 2014 Partner MegaFon.
The authors are:
• Oleg Serdechniy, 1957, Sochi (the White bear),
• Vadim Pak, 1977, Nakhodka (the Leopard),
• Silviya Petrova, 1994, the Chuvash republic state, Yankovsky region, New Buyanovo village (the Hare)
• Natalia Balashova, 1963, Moscow (the Ray of Light),
• Anna Zhilinsky, 2002, St.-Petersburg (the Snowflake).
All of the finalists of the all-Russia contest visited the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee offices before the vote and met with Dmitry Chernyshenko. The authors have received the encyclopedia “History of the Olympic Games: from Athens to China” containing a written message from the President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.
The program “Talismanya. Sochi 2014 - The Final”, which included the vote, lasted for more than one and a half hours. During this time the audience could once again get acquainted with candidates for Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, view the new videos specially created for each character and evaluate the merits of the candidates.
The mascot candidates were supported by stars of cinema, culture, show-business and sports. The TV show saw a range of Russian artists including Lev Leshchenko, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Alsu etc. Sochi 2014 Ambassadors Dima Bilan and Diana Gurtskaya also supported mascot candidates during the television show.
The All-Russia contest of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games mascot designs ran from September 1 until December 5, 2010. A total of 24,048 ideas were received by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee during the competition. According to the results of a vote by the expert council, 11 groups of mascot ideas passed 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 candidates were presented on February, 7th, 2011 on the Channel One program “Talismaniya. The beginning” after being recreated by animation artists. More information about the contest, the candidates for Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games mascots and the winners are available at web page
of the contest.