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Russian designer of 2018 FIFA World Cup wolf mascot dreams of career at Disney Studio

October 24, 2016, 17:54 UTC+3 TOMSK
Ekaterina Bocharova’s wolf, named Zabivaka ("the one who scores"), was chosen as the official mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, beating two other finalists - the tiger and the cat
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Ekaterina Bocharova and wolf Zabivaka (Scorer)

Ekaterina Bocharova and wolf Zabivaka (Scorer)

© FIFA/Getty Images/TASS

TOMSK, October 24. /TASS/. Ekaterina Bocharova, the author of the Wolf logo, selected as the mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, said on Monday she had always dreamed of becoming an animated cartoon artist and working for the Walt Disney Studio.

Bocharova’s wolf, named Zabivaka ("the one who scores"), was chosen on Friday night in Russia as the official mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, beating two other finalists - the tiger and the cat.

"It was the dream since my childhood to become an animated cartoon artist, to come up with new animated characters and be a part of the animated cartoon world," said Bocharova, who earlier admitted that the idea of the Wolf logo was inspired by her pet dog, a toy terrier nicknamed Tyson.

"My plans in general is to leave and go to work for the Disney Studio," Bocharova, a student designer from the Tomsk State University in Russian Siberia, said.

She also said that FIFA paid her $500 for the copyright of the Wolf design adding that she was ready for work on designs of mascots for other major international sports events.

According to a statement from FIFA on early Saturday, Bocharova’s Wolf received a total of "53% of the votes, followed by the tiger (27%) and the cat (20%)."

The mascot selection process has been divided into three stages, which occupied an 18-month period. The first stage was held on the talisman.fifa.com website between April and July last year. Anyone was able leave ideas on the website for a new mascot, which could be an animate or inanimate one, a mascot name and legend. Fans could have also voted for any of the proposed alternatives and the target audience of the first stage was made up of football fans between the age of 8 and 16.

The voting after the first stage selected 10 choices of mascots and they are - an Amur Tiger, Bogatyr (a legendary medieval Russian figure), a wolf, a Far Eastern leopard, a firebird, an alien, a cosmonaut, a cat, a bear and a robot.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against England’s bid, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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