Meet Your 2014 Russia Winter Olympics Mascots

Olympic mascots are always the best! The goofiness of sports mascots combined with foreign sensibilities always leads to interesting design choices. Today, Russia unveiled the three mascots for the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. They are a polar bear, a hare, and a snowboarding leopard.

Thing is, these were chosen by popular vote on a TV show. And democracy and Russia don't always go hand-in-hand. So there was some controversy:

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the "strong, fast and beautiful" snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

Yikes. Has anyone checked on the designer who came up with the Ded Moroz mascot lately? Something tells us he may have had been paid a special visit by FSB agents...