Olympic, Paralympic and Deaflympic games are the important sport events not only for athletes who are making their dream come true step by step by hard daily work, but also for ordinary people that like sport. In order to remember the competitions and the place it was held in the organizing committee of the Olympic Games decided to make their unofficial mascot. The first mascot was introduced in 1968; it was a skier with Olympic rings on his forehead. This mascot did not have much success; however, the idea became very popular among the Olympic Games organizers, so in 4 years period the first Olympic mascot – a multi-colored badger-dog – was originally registered in Germany.
A mascot has its own mission. It reflects the spirit of a country that hosts the Games, gives luck to the participants of the competitions and makes the atmosphere of the Games more cheerful. That\s why designing a mascot is a complicated and long work.
Very often the mascot of the Games is an animal that is very popular in the hosting country or some animated fictional character.
In any case a mascot shall symbolize the main principles of the competitions:
- Perfection. Discipline of excellence in order to reach a goal object in life and in sport. It’s not a victory that matters but self-determination.
- Friendship. Reaching sympathetic understanding between people and nations no matter what disagreements and differences they have. Sport unites people of different nations, cultures and religions.
- Respect. Keeping sport, moral and ethical principles and rules. This means respect to other people, to the environment, to yourself and your body.
The official mascots of the Olympics 2014 were animals typical for the south, the north and the midland of Russia. They were a leopard, an animal included in the Russian Red List, a polar bear and an alpine hare.
The mascots of the Paralympic Games 2014 in Sochi were chosen by Paralympic champions. After a short discussion they have chosen 2 characters: a ray of sun and a snowflake. According to a legend, a ray is a fire boy that came to Earth from an ever-hot planet. On Earth he found new friends, who taught him how to ski and to play ice-hockey. A snow flake came to Earth on an ice comet. She has a light skin and she looks like a snow crystal. According to the authors, the characters symbolize harmony and contrast. Two opposites have become friends, got over the difficulties and together they have achieved a big success.
The contest for a best mascot for the Deaflympics 2014 in Khanty-Mansiysk was conducted around the whole Russia. Works from Tomsk, Moscow, Chelyabinsk and Chuwashia were sent to the organizing committee. The winner was Pavel Saharov from Novocheboksarsk, who proposed a baby mammoth for a mascot. According to the organizers, this animal is a symbol of Russian north, who represents beauty and strength of Siberia, the kind eyes of a baby mammoth are crystal clear like rivers and lakes of Ugra and open as Russian soul.
The other contest for creating a name for a baby mammoth was held later. 50 names were proposed, 8 best names were selected by voting. The most popular names among people were Spartak, Equie, which means “equal” in khanti language, and Kukuruza.
Kids were proposed to draw the mascot of the Deaflympics – a baby mammoth who is taking part in competitions in Deaflympic disciplines. Works from all parts of Russia were sent to the Organizing Committee office. People of Russia have chosen several best drawings.