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Posted at 01:35 PM ET, 10/04/2012

Sochi’s slogan becomes a Russian punchline

Russia has high hopes for the 2014 winter Olympic games in Sochi, a resort town on the Black Sea.

In a visit to Sochi last year, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin described the games “as a way to mobilize the government and society toward a single, positive national purpose,” the Wall Street Journal reported.


A clock showing the 500-day countdown to the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia, on Sept. 25, 2012. (Igor Yakunin - AP)

Unfortunately, the Russian Twitterverse is bursting the nationalist bubble by ridiculing the recently announced slogan for the games: “Жаркие. Зимние. Твои,” or, literally, “Hot. Wintry. Yours.”

According to Sochi organizing committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko, “Hot” refers to Sochi’s climate and the passion for the games. “Cool” stands for the winter sports played, and “yours” indicates organizers’ hopes that the event be all-inclusive.

But online, Russians found alternate meanings for the three-word phrase.

As GlobalVoices reported, Russian news site Lenta.ru tweeted in response: “Hot. Wintry. Yours. Mittens. Others appended “valenki” (boots) or “wool socks.”

Other microbloggers wrote that the “hot” adjective — which in Russian can be synonymous with “sultry” or “passionate” — makes the Olympics seem like something other than good, clean athletic fun.

“ ‘They say that the Sochi Olympic slogan was originally ‘Winter with blackjack and whores!’ but at the last moment they changed it to ‘Hot. Wintry. Yours.’ ”one tweeter wrote.

And “yours?” Some bloggers have used it as fodder for one-liners about government embezzlement of citizen tax money.

“Sochi will be the showcase for Russia for the world to see, Chernyshenko told the Associated Press.

So perhaps the slogan was just a viral marketing technique.

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By  |  01:35 PM ET, 10/04/2012

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