During the meeting of the Sochi 2014 jury of experts, the results of the first selection round for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games mascot ideas were presented and a short list of design ideas was created. The winners will be selected from the shortlisted ideas, characters and their authors and will be presented to the public on February 7 2011 - exactly 3 years before the start of the Games.
The expert jury, consisting of prominent cultural, educational, sports, business and political figures, is chaired by Konstantin Ernst, CEO of Channel One Russia. After a review the 24,000 designs submitted during the contest, the jury shortlisted the top 10 Olympic and top 3 Paralympic mascot ideas from which the winners will be chosen in February 2011. The jury has decided that both animals - such as bears, leopards, dolphins, bullfinches, rabbits, and abstractcharacters - such as snowballs, snowflakes, traditional Russian nested dolls Matreshkas - can continue the race.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said:
“Six months ago we made the unprecedented decision to create our mascot together with the Russian people. An entire country has taken part in a contest of ideas to create Olympic and Paralympic mascots. The mascots for the Sochi 2014 Games should reflect the characteristics of Russian culture and be familiar to millions of people of different ages, occupations and nationalities, both in Russia and around the world. It is essential that the mascots appeal to children, since for many of them the Sochi 2014 mascots will be their first contact with sport. We encourage everyone to take part in the final nationwide SMS voting, which will be held in February during a live television broadcast.”
The deliberations of the jury of experts has consisted of several phases. In the first instance, the jury members got acquainted with the gallery of designs and provided their ratings for the ideas which, they believe, could represent the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games to a worldwide audience.
The lists resulting from this stage were then discussed during the general meeting of the jury of experts.
Konstantin Ernst, CEO of Channel One Russia, said: “The role of leading the jury of experts is a challenge. From the thousands of ideas which were submitted from every part of Russia, our task was to choose the most promising and suitable.
“After the announcement of the short list of design ideas, a team of artists and animators will work over the course of a month and a half to create animated images that will take part in the live television show.”
As a result of the jury's work 10 groups of ideas for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games mascot and 3 groups of ideas for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games mascot were chosen. The results of jury voting were sealed in envelopes, collected and counted by the Sochi 2014 volunteers.
Vitaly Smirnov, Honorary President of the Russian Olympic Committee, IOC member, and member of the ROC’s Executive Committee, said:
“For Russia, Sochi 2014 will be, of course, the first Olympic Winter Games, but do not forget that the country has already hosted the 1980 Olympic Games. During the preparations for those Games, there was also much work devoted to selecting the Games mascot. The whole world remembers Misha the Bear - mascot from the 1980 Olympic Games, and for Russia this mascot is a symbol of an era. The 2014 mascots will become heroes of their time in the same way, and I hope our work will make a contribution.”
Olesya Vladykina, Sochi 2014 Ambassador, said:
“For athletes, the Games mascots are always a source of inspiration, which provide support during the competitions and strengthen the spirit. In this regard the Paralympic mascot is especially important, since it must instill confidence in athletes and help motivate them to meet challenges and achieve new athletic feats regardless of circumstances, conventions and stereotypes.”
The results of the second stage of voting for the selection of mascots include the following ideas for “Olympic” mascots:
· Polar bear
· Brown bear
· Snowball/Snowflake/Ice floe piece
· Little men
· Father Frost
And for “Paralympic” mascots:
· Nested doll/Tumbler toy
The expert jury members include:
· Yuri BASHMET (National Artist of USSR, Artistic director and Director of the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia (Novaya Rossiya State Symphony Orchestra)
· Igor BUTMAN (The recipient of the State Prize and the Prize for literature and arts)
· Fedor BONDARCHUK (Russian actor, scriptwriter and movie director)
· Olesya VLADYKINA (Paralympic champion, the Sochi 2014 Ambassador)
· Nikolai DROZDOV (Professor of Moscow State University, Doctor of Biological Sciences, host the TV program "In the world of animals" since 1977)
· Svetlana ZHUROVA (Olympic Champion, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of Russia)
· Natalya IONOVA (Russian television and movie actress, pop singer, known under a pseudonym of Gluk’Oza)
· Mikhail KUSNIROVICH (Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bosco di Ciliegi group)
· Tatyana NAVKA (Russian figure skater with her partner Roman Kostomarov – Olympic Champions of 2006, two-time World champions, three-time Europe champions)
· Gor NAKHAPETYAN (Managing Director of “Skolkovo” Business School)
· Vladimir PIROZHKOV (famous Russian designer, President and CEO of “ASTRAROSSA” Industrial and Innovations Design Centre);
· Alexander POPOV (four-time Olympic Champion, International Olympic Committee member)
· Vitaly SMIRNOV (Honorary President of the Russian Olympic Committee, the IOC member, ROC’s Executive Committee member)
· Oleg TABAKOV (National Artist of the USSR, artistic director of Chekhov Moscow Art Theater)
· Mikhail TERENTIEV (State Duma Deputy, General Secretary of the Russian Paralympic Committee)
· Anatoliy PROKHOROV (Russian Motion Picture and Television Producer, co-founder of “Pilot” studio, Member of the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia)
· Svyatoslav USHAKOV (Director of the first Russian 3D animation movie “Belka and Strelka. Star Dogs”)
· Konstantin ERNST (CEO of the “Channel One Russia”)