A snowboarding leopard, a figure-skating bunny and a polar bear wearing a scarf will be the three mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Though those are some of the safest choices imaginable, the decision has led to charges of plagiarism, corruptibility and vote-rigging.
The winners were announced on a live television show broadcast throughout the country. Viewers cast over 1 million votes for the nine candidates and officials selected the top-three to serve as Sochi's official mascots. The snow leopard came out on top with 28 percent of the vote.
The announcement was not without some controversy. Ded Morez, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, had led in early polling but was pulled from the ballot at the last second when Russian organizers feared that their country's folk hero would become official property of the IOC. That decision left room for the following three winners, which are said to "encapsulate much of Russia's self-image."
The snow leopard wasRead More »from Meet the dorky, controversial mascots for the 2014 Olympics