Scott: Alright. Now, it is not just the athletes that get a ton of attention during the Olympics. Shelby Holliday shows us how the games wouldn’t be complete without the mascots.
Shelby: These hats are the hottest fashion accessories at the Winter Games.
Fan: Oh, it is Olympic Bunny! Everybody loves Bunny everywhere!
Shelby: The hare is one of three official Olympic mascots, together with the polar bear and the snow leopard.
Leslie Carol Escobar: I think I want to go for the leopard.
Shelby: The Olympics started using mascots in 1972. Russians chose the polar bear for its strength, the hare for its speed and the leopard for its agility. Russian President Vladimir Putin posed with a snow leopard, saying it is his favorite mascot because it is fast and powerful.
The mascots are so popular they are giving the athletes a little competition. Adoring fans are mobbing statues. This store alone sells 5,000 stuffed mascots a day.
Russians picked their mascots in a democratic way. For the first time in Olympic history, an entire country voted to select the winners.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.
Scott: Now, if you can’t get enough of the Olympics, head to Channelone.com for behind-the-scenes video and fun facts about all of the sports.