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Russian president unhappy with Sochi mascot vote

 In this photo provided by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, a polar bear, one of the Sochi 2014 Winter ...
 In this photo provided by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 a bunny rabbit, one of the Sochi 2014 Winter...
 In this photo provided by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 a snow leopard, one of the Sochi 2014 Winter...

Russia Sochi Mascots

In this photo provided by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, a polar bear, one of the Sochi 2014 Winter ...

Russia Sochi Mascots

In this photo provided by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 a bunny rabbit, one of the Sochi 2014 Winter...

Russia Sochi Mascots

In this photo provided by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 a snow leopard, one of the Sochi 2014 Winter...

When the organizers of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics chose three mascots for the games, they might have thought the unusual decision would satisfy almost everyone.
But on Monday, it looked like they may have pleased almost no one.
President Dmitry Medvedev is questioning whether the voting really reflected the people's will. The creator of Misha the bear, the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, says one of the Sochi mascots is a rip-off of his design. And firebrand politician Vladimir Zhrinovsky says all three are an insult to Russia.
The mascots _ a snow leopard, a polar bear and a rabbit _ were chosen in a nationwide television broadcast Saturday in which viewers voted by telephone and text message from among nine candidates.
The head of the Sochi organizing committee says there won't be a recount.
"The procedure that we chose was the most accessible and massive way of expressing will that we have in this country," Dmitry Chernyshenko said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.
But Medvedev, in the course of discussing a proposal for a new electronic payment card for Russians, said Monday that "I hope it will be more fair than the discussion of the Olympic symbols."
He cited "dissonance" between the results and earlier unofficial Internet voting.
Artis Viktor Chizhov, who designed 1980's Misha, told Ekho Moskvy radio that the polar bear was lifted from his creation: "the eyes, nose, mouth, smile, ... I don't like it when they steal, a creator feels this very sharply."
Sergei Mironov, leader of the Just Russia party, also didn't like the polar bear, but for a different reason, saying it too closely resembled the emblem of United Russia, the country's overwhelmingly dominant party, led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Zhirinovsky, known for his truculent and provocative statements, denounced all three.
The leopard is "a bloodthirsty animal, it doesn't evoke any happiness. The bear is a most stupid animal. And the rabbit is a coward, it's always running," he was quoted as saying by the news agency Interfax.


Updated : 2021-10-17 17:31 GMT+08:00