Next week countries from around the world will come together in Sochi with the 2014 Winter Olympics. Little Passports, an educational subscription box for kids, is celebrating this great opportunity to learn about our world’s culture by taking a closer look at the symbols of the spirit of Sochi!
The winter Olympics are an exciting learning experience for kids, and Little Passports has fun information about the Olympic torch, medals, mascots, and more of this year’s games to share with you and your family. Check out the info below, and be sure to visit www.littlepassports.com for even more Olympics materials, including an Olympic torch craft!
What’s so special about the Olympic torch?
The countdown to the Games kicks off with the Olympic torch relay, which delivers the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece to the Host City through a series of runners. For the Sochi Games, each runner carries an eye-catching, red and silver torch.
The torch’s curved shape is inspired by the feather of the golden Firebird, a mythical creature celebrated in Russian fairytales and folklore. According to one legend, the Firebird’s feathers “light the way” and bring good fortune and happiness. You might notice patterns inspired by the Firebird and its feathers throughout the Sochi Games. For example, look for them on Team Russia’s uniforms!
Are the Olympic medals unique to this year’s Games?
Yes! The Sochi medals are made out of metal and feature an etched glass-like insert with jagged edges resembling mountain peaks and the seashore. This design highlights Sochi’s unique position between the cold snow-capped Caucasus Mountains and the warm sandy beaches of the Black Sea.
The medals also feature the Sochi Olympics’ recognizable “Patchwork Quilt” design, a mosaic of 16 traditional patterns that celebrate Russia’s rich traditions and cultural diversity. Keep an eye out for the colorful quilt design everywhere at the Games, such as on the torch bearers’ outfits and Olympic souvenirs.
Our sports teams in the U.S. have mascots. Do the Olympic Games have mascots too?
You bet! The winter Games’ mascots are a Snow Leopard, Polar Bear, and Hare! Russian citizens submitted their ideas for mascots, and Olympic officials selected the top three.
These three native Russian animals represent the country’s spirit and embody the Olympic values. The Polar Bear is depicted as friendly, intelligent and always striving for new athletic heights, while the Hare is an excellent student and loves sports. Tough and strong, the choice of the Snow Leopard, a native of Sochi’s nearby Caucasus Mountains and a critically endangered species, draws attention to Russia’s increasing focus on animal conservation. Look for the three Olympic mascots spreading joy and Olympic spirit throughout the Games!
Disclosure: I am receiving a Little Passports sample kit, no additional compensation has been received.