On 26 February 2011, at 11.20 pm (GMT+3) the final results of the public vote during the live television show "Talismaniya Sochi 2014 – The Final” were announced on the first Channel. The election council made the decision that the top-three characters with maximum number of votes would all become the Olympic Winter Games mascots:[21] the Polar Bear (by Oleg Serdechniy, Sochi), the Hare (by Silviya Petrova, New Buyanovo village of Yankovsky region, Chuvash Republic) the Leopard (by Vadim Pak, Nakhodka) All three animals are indigenous animals found in Southern Russia in the Caucasus Mountains near Sochi. Commenting on the results of the live vote, Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said: «Today, the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have adopted its own symbols and, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Movement, the whole country was involved in choosing the mascots. There are three mascots for the Olympic Winter Games, representing the three places on the Olympic podium. All top-three characters according to the Olympic system will become the Olympic Winter Games mascots. The mascots are the choice of the whole our country and will remain in the history of the Olympic movement». The Caucasus Mountains[a] are a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region. The Caucasus Mountains include: the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and the Lesser

aucasus Mountains. The Greater Caucasus Range extends from the Caucasian Natural Reserve in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea, generally trending east-southeast and reaching nearly to Baku on the Caspian Sea, while the Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the greater range, at a distance averaging about 100 km (62 mi) south. The Meskheti Range is a part of the Lesser Caucasus system. The Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges are connected by the Likhi Range, which separates the Kolkhida Lowland from the Kura-Aras Lowland. In the southeast are the Talysh Mountains. The Lesser Caucasus and the Armenian Highland constitute the Transcaucasian Highland. The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbrus in the Greater Caucasus, which rises to a height of 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) above sea level. Mountains near Sochi will host part of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Caucasus Mountains formed largely as the result of a tectonic plate collision between the African plate moving northward with respect to the Eurasian plate.[citation needed] The entire region is regularly subjected to strong earthquakes from this activity. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains on the other hand, is largely of volcanic origin. The Javakheti Volcanic Plateau in Georgia and the surrounding volcanic ranges which extend well into central Armenia are some of the youngest features of the region. There are large hydrocarbon reserves in the area especially near the Caspian Sea.