If you watched the Opening Ceremony Friday, chances are you missed seeing the large hare, polar bear and leopard make an appearance. These three characters are the official mascots of the Sochi 2014 Olympics, which NBC decided to edit out of the Opening Ceremony.
Mascots have been appearing in the Olympics since 1972 and are supposed to represent the culture and heritage of the Olympic city and country.
The Olympics have produced some strange and scary mascots in the past, but I have to say, these ones are pretty cute.
You can actually visit the mascot’s home and interact with them and things inside.
At the log home, you can click on each mascot and watch an adorable short video about their life and when they got the news that they would be an Olympic mascot.
On the first floor are the official Paralympic mascots, The Ray of Light and The Snowflake.
The stories for each mascot really reiterate the storytelling and dreaming traditions in Russia, which were major themes during the Opening Ceremony.
Around the home are clickable picture frames on the walls that describe the history of Olympic mascots.
You can also read about the contest Russia had to pick the mascots. This was the first time an entire country got to select the mascots. More the 24,000 sketches were submitted and voted on in a poll. A panel of judges then narrowed them down.
I think the hare, polar bear and leopard are definitely going to make an impact with Olympic visitors. We can expect to see a lot of mascot-themed merchandise bought and hopefully these will be the start to less creepy mascots for years to come.