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    Sochi residents pick Dolphin as mascot for 2014 Winter Olympics

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    People in Sochi have chosen a dolphin as the mascot for Sochi's Winter Olympics in 2014, a spokesman for Russia's southern city said on Monday.

    SOCHI, March 3 (RIA Novosti) - People in Sochi have chosen a dolphin as the mascot for Sochi's Winter Olympics in 2014, a spokesman for Russia's southern city said on Monday.

    People in Sochi were asked to vote for their favorite mascot, which included a dolphin, Father Christmas, skiing snowballs and a polar bear. The dolphin was the most popular among voters.

    "The vote was held at all polling stations on March 2," he said.

    The official mascot for the Sochi Olympics will be announced in 2011. Over 130 different contenders have been submitted so far, including animals, birds, and insects.

    Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said early last month the government would spend 81 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) over the next three years on facilities for the games.

    Sochi won the right to host the Olympics during an International Olympic Committee session in Guatemala in July 2007 after a close race with South Korea's Pyeongchang and Austria's Salzburg.

    Russia will be hosting the Winter Olympics for the first time. Moscow hosted the Summer Olympics in 1980, but the event was marred by a U.S.-led boycott involving more than 60 countries.

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