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All good things come in threes

9-10 (2011)
Viewed: 1840

Three characters — the Leopard, the White bear and the Hare became the talismans of the Olympic Games-2014 at once. It is curious, that the first of them was included into number of antileaders of All-Russian VCIOMpoll. However, prime minister Vladimir Putin pronounced his weighty utterance — and the Leopard was removed from outsiders to favourites.

«We became the first, who made process of talismans creation the national scale project, there haven't been similar precedents in the history of the Olympic movement till now», — the head of brand management department of the Organizing committee «Sochi-2014» Nelly Aleksandrova tells. The All-Russian action on gathering of ideas for a talisman of XXII Winter Olympic Games started on September, 1st, 2010. According to the idea of organizers of competition, the talisman should have included «characteristic Russian features, and, at the same time, be intuitively clear to the majority of people of the different ages, trades and nationalities».

Down with stereotypes!

Ideas, literally, began to rain down from the different corners of Russia — from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, and also from the compatriots living in the USA, Austria, Belarus, Estonia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The age difference of authors reached 74 years: the senior was 77 years old, and to the youngest — 3 years. Wishing to be noticed, contestants offered original variants. For example, the Siberian agrarian group fromn Tomsk considered, that the pig Pavel, predicting the results of football matches of «Tomsk» football club, is worthy to become a talisman of the Sochi Games. Trainers Edgard and Askold Zapashnye offered two tigers — «unusual white and traditional red, the girl and the boy»: one of them «emphasizes the uniqueness of winter Games in subtropics», and another «is associated with the rich nature of Russia».

The representatives of domestic show business were very creative. Timur Rodrigez agitated for the yeti, Valerya — for the girl in Russian national suit and skates, with samovar — a symbol of Russian hospitality — in her hands, Diana Gurtskaya and Alexey Vorobyev — for the snowman, and Mitya Fomin — for the shish kebab image. «Such talisman gives strength, — he gave reason. — The skewer looks upwards, that means hope foe new achievements of our sportsmen». Ambassadors of «Sochi-2014» spouted with ideas. The World hockey champion Alexander Ovechkin recommended a lamb on a snowboard or with a stick, the bobsled silver prize-winner of Turin Alexey Voevoda — a seahorse, the figure skating bronze prizewinner of Turin Oksana Domnina — a dolphin on the skates, the vice-champion of Turin in luge Albert Demchenko — a goldfish, paralympic champion of Beijing in swimming Olesya Vladykina — a small fish on a snowboard, top model Natalia Vodyanova — a white tiger…

Ray f light in the Olympic kingdom

Competition of ideas for talismans to the Sochi Olympic Games proceeded till December, 5th, 2010. During this time the Organizing committee «Sochi-2014» got 24 048 works. All given ideas should have been estimated by expert jury, which included well-known people of art, education, sports, business and politics, led by the general director of the First channel Konstantin Ernst. 10 groups of talisman ideas for the Olympic Games and three groups of talisman ideas for Paralympic Games were chosen as a result. The Olympic Hare, the Dolphin, the White bear, the Brown bear, the Bullfinch, the Leopard, the Snowflake, the Sun, Little men, Father Frost, and also Paralympic Russian doll / the Tilting toy, the Dolphin and the Bullfinch were included in the final list.

After their «animating» by means of artists-animators final images of candidates were presented on the First channel in the program «Talismaniya. The beginning» 1,4 million persons took part in voting.

From the Olympic talismans the Leopard, the White bear and the Hare won. «There is such a proverb:»All good things come in threes", — the president of Organizing committee «Sochi-2014» Dmitry Chernyshenko remembered. — The decision to leave three winners of «pre-election race» talismans was made. Each of them confirms the Olympic principles of friendship, respect, aspiration to perfection". The right to become Paralympic talismans got the Ray and the Snowflake.

Effect from camouflaged advertizing

On the eve of voting on the First channel VCIOM asked a question whom inhabitants of Russia would like to see as a symbols of the Sochi Olympic Games. According to results of poll spent in 46 regions Russian Federation, the most successful variant was Father Frost.

Father Frost remained the favourite up to the day of voting. It was found out, however, that it initially couldn't apply for a rank of a symbol of the Olympic Games, as after the symbol statement, all rights to its use go to the IOC. For inhabitants of Russia it meant, that 2012, 2013 and 2014 they will meet in the company the Snow Maiden only.

It is curious, that among those whom VCIOM respondents definitely wouldn't like to see as a symbol of Olympic Games-2014, became the Snowflake, the Leopard and the Sun — in such sequence. Meanwhile, following the results of TV-voting the Leopard won the first place. What metamorphosis_is a mystery. But experts was the cause of this metamorphosis — is a mystery. But experts remembered Vladimir Putin's words said some hours before the live broadcast on the First channel: «The Leopard — is strong, powerful, fast and beautiful».

As a result, as observers believe, the opinion of the prime minister became defining for the majority of Russians. Organizing committee «Sochi-2014»doesn't deny it. «Putin's choice, certainly, influenced voting result, though it was initially told, that his words shouldn't be apprehended as imposing of another's opinion», — Dmitry Chernyshenko noted. It is significant, that the president of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev sympathized to the White bear, which took the second place. However, it can be asserted, that the main role in popularity of this hero has played nostalgia for the Bear of Olympic Games-80. The present White Bear, by the way, is very similar to it. It is more difficult to guess, why the Hare became the third talisman. Perhaps, because a symbol of this year according to the east calendar is the rabbit?

Members of expert council on selection of'talismans for XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi-2014





Yury Bashmet

the national actor of the USSR, the art director and the main conductor of the Russian ctate symphonic orchectra «New Russia»

Igor Butman

the winner of the State Russian Federation award in the field of literature and art

Fyodor Bondarchuk

the actor, the director, the script writer

Olesya Vladykina

Paralympic champion, the ambassador of «Sochi-2014»

Nikolay Drozdov

the professor of the Moscow State University, the Dr.Sci.Biol. TV-presenter of program «In the world of animals»

Svetlana Zhurova

Olympic champion, the vice-president of the State Duma of the Russian Federation

Natalia Ionova

TV- and film actress, the pop singer acting under the pseudonym GlyukkOza

Mikhail Kusnirovich

the head of group of companies Bosco di Ciliegi

Tatyana Navka

Olympic figure skating champion of 2006, the double world champion, the triple champion of Europe

Gor Nakhapetyan

the director of business school «Skolkovo»

Vladimir Pirozhkov

designer, the president of the multibranch center of inductrial design and innovations «Actrarossa»

Alexander Popov

fourfold Olympic champion, the IOC member

Vitaly Smirnov

honourary ROC president, the member of IOC and executive committee of ROC

Oleg Tabakov

the national actor of the USSR, art director of Chekhov's Theatre

Mikhail Terentyev

the secretary general of Paralympic committee of Russia

Anatoly Prokhorov

film- and TV-producer, co-founder of «Pilot» ctudio, the member of National academy of cinema arts and sciences of Russia

Svyatoslav Ushakov

the director of the firct Russian full-length cartoon film in 3D «Belka and Strelka»

Konstantin Ernst

the general director of «First channel»

Talismans of XXII Winter Olympic Games in SocHi-2014 represented by their authors

Vadim Pak, 1977, Nakhodka


— The mountain rescuer-climber the Leopard lives in a crone of a huge tree, which grows on the highest rock in snow-covered mountains of Caucasus. It is always ready to come to the rescue and time and again rescued the village located nearby from avalanches. The leopard — is a perfect snowboarder, it has taught all its friends and neighbors this sport. The Leopard has cheerful nature, it can't live in loneliness and likes to dance very much.

Oleg Serdechny, 1957, Sochi

White Bear:

— Behind polar circle in ice igloo lives the White bear. Everything is made of ice and snow in its house: a snow shower, a bed, a computer and even sports training simulators. The white bear has been brought up by polar explorers since the early childhood. They have taught it to ski, skate and play curling. But most of all white bear liked to go for a drive on a sports sledge. It became the real luger, and its friends — seals and fur seals — look with pleasure at its victories. Now they organize competitions together, and they have no time to be bored during long polar night.

Silviya Petrova, 1994, the Chuvash Republic


— The hare is the most active inhabitant of winter wood. Its friends are always surprised: «And how it is always in time?!» After all, hare does not only  study in Wood academy, help his mum with family small restaurant «Wood dam», but also takes part in sports competitions. It just likes sports very much. And it likes to sing and dance.

Talismans of XI Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi-2014 represented by their authors

Natalia Balashova, 1963, Moscow


— The fiery boy arrived to the Earth from a planet, where it is always hot. Therefore, he has amber skin, sparkles in huge eyes and hair, like fiery flashes. He has friends on Earth, who learned the fiery boy to ski and play hockey.

Anna Zhilinskaya, 2002, St.-Petersburg


— The snowflake arrived to the Earth on an ice comet. It has very light skin and looks like crystal of snow. It likes to dance very much, therefore the skates and freestyle became its favourite sports — after all, it is so easy to fly and spin together with other snowflakes!

Author: Danil Savelyev