Russia unveiled the new logo for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics - a design based on the organising committee’s Internet domain name.
The all-lower-case logo is set out in a rounded blue typeface and contains no images other than the five Olympic rings, and represents the first time an Internet domain has been part of an Olympic host city’s emblem.
The word “sochi.ru” appears above the number “2014” in an apparent reflection, symbolising the southern city’s water-based location on the Black Sea.
“It’s very appealing. It’s very creative, innovative,” International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said. “I think it will appeal especially to the young population.”
The logo replaces the previous design, a mountain under a snowflake reminiscent of the Soviet star.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, the CEO of the Sochi organising committee, refused to disclose the cost, saying only it was less than $650,000 spent on London’s dazzling design for the 2012 Summer Games.
Officials held a global tender won by Interbrand to produce the logo, which was subsequently approved in a series of national and international surveys, Chernyshenko said.
Chernyshenko said the new logo would help break Western stereotypes of a Russia stuck in the past, instead promoting the country as a dynamic and modern nation capable of reaching out to new audiences in a digital age.
“In a lot of ways Russia for the rest of the world is still a mystery,” Chernyshenko said.
IOC officials said they had received assurances from Russia that the 2014 games near the North Caucasus region, afflicted by continuing violence, would not be threatened by terrorism.
Internet blogs were awash with photographs from the elaborate celebration, which appeared to feature top government officials, pop stars, fireworks, and a show on a specially built ice rink.