The next big sporting event is upon us...The Winter Olympics!
The Winter Olympic Games are being held in Sochi, Russia this year!
Something you may not know is that Host Countries and Cities love incorporating distinctive cultural details throughout each Olympics to share their history and spirit with the world.
Do you know what features make the 2014 Winter Olympics’ symbols so unique?
The Olympic Torch
The countdown to the games begins with the Olympic torch relay, which delivers the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece to the Host City using a series of runners. For the Sochi Games, each runner is carrying an amazing, red and silver torch.
This year, the torch has a curved shape which is inspired by the feather of the golden Firebird, a mythical creature celebrated in Russian fairytales and folklore. It's said that the Firebird’s feathers “light the way” while bringing good fortune and happiness. You may notice patterns throughout the Sochi Games that are inspired by the Firebird and its feathers . For example, pay close attention to Team Russia’s uniforms.
The Olympic Medals
The top three finishers in each event receive one of the 2014 Winter Olympic medals. The look and design of these metal medals feature an etched glass-like insert with jagged edges, resembling mountain peaks as well as a seashore — Highlighting Sochi’s unique position between the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains and the warm beaches of the Black Sea.
Also featured is the Sochi Olympics’ recognizable “Patchwork Quilt” design, a mosaic of 16 traditional patterns that celebrate Russia’s rich traditions and cultural diversity. This colorful quilt design can be found in many places at the Games, such as the torch bearers’ outfits as well as on Olympic souvenirs!
The Olympic Mascots
The Snow Leopard, the Hare, and the Polar Bear are this year's Winter Games’ mascots, which Sam and Sofia can’t wait to meet! The Sochi Olympics invited all of Russia to submit their ideas for the mascots, a vote was held for their favorite from the finalists. Officials selected the top three finishers, representing the three places on the awards podium, as the official mascots.
These three native Russian animals represent the country’s spirit and embody the Olympic values. The Polar Bear is known as friendly, intelligent and always striving for new athletic heights, while the Hare is a wonderful student who enjoys sports. The third mascot, representing toughness and strength, is the Snow Leopard — a critically endangered species as well as a native of Sochi’s nearby Caucasus Mountains, draws attention to Russia’s rising focus on animal conservation. Make sure to keep an eye out for the three Olympic mascots while they spread joy and Olympic spirit throughout the Games!
Sam and Sofia can’t wait to join their friends in Russia and support the athletes from around the world. They're extremely excited to see all of the amazing Olympic symbols while watching the Winter Games this year!
Which Olympic symbol are you looking forward to seeing during the 2014 Winter Olympics’?