A nationwide competition to find a mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, to be held in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, will kick off on September 1, organizers said on Friday.
Organizing committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko announced the competition at the Russia Is a Sport Power sports forum earlier on Friday.
"Anyone who wants to can share their vision of what our mascot should look like," he said.
"We have made an unprecedented decision - to create our mascot [with the help of] the entire country... For the first time in the history of the Olympic movement, a mascot will be chosen by popular vote," organizers said.
The mascot "should encompass a range of features characteristic of Russia, and at the same time be intelligible to people of every age, profession and nationality," they added.
Full terms and conditions for the competition will be available on September 1.
Mishka the Bear, the mascot of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, still enjoys large-scale popularity in Russia.
MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti)