Olympic and Paralympic mascots are fairly forgettable — and up until lately seemingly designed on the cheap and usually by an Olympic committee. This year for the first time voting was opened up to everyone. You and I know that design by committee can sometimes lead to terrible work — but we’re not alone. Allegations are now surfacing that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin did away with the committee problem altogether and threw his weight behind his favorite.
Open voting is always prone to problems. These mascots were chosen as a result of a public vote during the a live Russian television show called “Talismaniya Sochi 2014 – The Final.” Viewers were invited to text or phone in their votes and the results were announced late last night. This morning, the AFP is reporting that some bloggers became suspicious when the Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz, aka Santa Claus, (which personally I think is a rather odd choice to have been included in the first place) was ditched early on.
During a radio interview early this morning, Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin told the Echo of Moscow radio that “just after Vladimir Putin showed his sympathy for the leopard, its votes climbed sharply.”
Below is the entire lineup of contenders. Personally, I think the best choices were made. Which would you have voted for?