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Sochi Olympic mascots

January 30, 2014

The winter Olympics are just around the corner, the teams are preparing to travel to Russia, and I am looking forward to watching as much of the events I can on television.  It is a grand time for Olympic mascots, they are busy promoting the games in Russia.  In past years, many mascots did not have much following before the games and were more or less ignored, but as the games began they were much sought after souvenirs.  That was especially true of the Snowlets in Nagano, Japan 1998 Olympics.  People went crazy for them a few days into the games, while before they were ignored and criticized.


This time the Sochi Olympics are following the trend of multiple mascots.  The Snow Leopard, the hare and the polar bear were selected by a democratic poll throughout Russia.

183616311 I agree with one writer who sees the irony in a democratic poll taking place in a communist country.  Maybe that is why there was some criticism on how it was held, as the voting started, the Prime Minister announced that his favorite was the Leopard, and it affected the results.

I am a bit confused about the names of the mascots.  When you go to their official site they are simply, the Polar Bear, the Hare and the Leopard.  Other sites have names for the hare; Zaika  Dore, and the bear; Bely Mishka, but none for the Leopard.

Despite not having a name, official or not, Leopard is bringing attention to the plight of  the snow leopard, a resident of Siberia, far away from Sochi in the south.  “It is extremely endangered throughout it’s range.”  says  Dr. James P. Gibbs, a conservation biologist.  They are being killed for their pelt and to protect livestock.  Maybe the Siberians could learn from Richard Turere, a Maasai young man in Kenya who figured out how to keep lions away from his and his neighbours cattle without killing them.

I love watching the winter Olympics, and interest in the mascots is a fun pass-time for me.  I wish there was an easier way for international customers to get souvenirs from the games.  Shipping is very expensive and when I had questions about the website the phone number to Russia didn’t work for me.  Looks like I will just have to rely on EBay.

I hope to have fun watching the games, and will try to stay warm and cozy while I see all those  athletes in the ice and snow.  Good luck to our Canadian squad, and I wish everyone stays safe and has a terrific time in Sochi!



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