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Leopard leads Sochi Olympic mascot poll

SOCHI, Russia, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The snow leopard was Saturday's leader in a Russian vote to select the official mascot for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, organizers of the games said.

The poll is part of a selection process in which a special commission will decide on the best idea and then turn it over to professional artists for a final rendering, RIA Novosti said.

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The mascot is required to "encompass a range of features characteristic of Russia" and also be recognizable to people of different nationalities and age groups. Organizers have already received more than 3,000 images of potential mascots from all over Russia.

The Sochi games open in the Black Sea resort city Feb. 7, 2014.

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