Astana-Almaty 2011
Mascot Astana-Almaty 2011

In the modern information space Snow leopard has entrenched itself as one of the basic symbols of power and greatness of independent Kazakhstan. The mascot is supposed to reflect the unique spirit of the place where the Games will take place. The mascot is a part of the overall style of the Asiad and it should fit into general context of all visual materials. Therefore, there cannot any other image that would best suit the Games than the snow leopard which belongs to the snow element.

The mascot by all means should symbolize the values of the modern Olympic movement, and the snow leopard has all basic characteristics of a true Olympian: strength, boldness, endurance and nobleness.

In the modern world sport a mascot must reflect traditions of people, their history and the important cultural codes. Thus, the snow leopard is a multiple valued and rich symbol. Anciently zoomorphic images served as a way of modeling the world in the culture of nomadic civilization. In mythological beliefs of Scythians snow leopard was the defender of justice. Also snow leopard frequently represented itself as a divine defender of arbor vitae, being, thus, a symbol of protection space order, the guarantor of stability of the universe, that is associated with the basic ideas of the Olympic movement.

The name of the mascot should be authentic to the character and its cultural codes. It should also be easy and positively identified in trance - language interpretation. Besides, the name should have harmonious typographic structure as it is also a part of the corporate style of the Asiad-2011.

Another important aspect of the name and image of the mascot is the anatomic look –childish body proportions, big head, smile, the eyes looking at the spectator, and the name sounding as a pet name of a kid). It gives the mascot the image of outspokenness and arouses sympathy in audience. The pet name IRBY comes from the name IRBIS.

The phonosemantic analysis determines the following main characteristics of the name IRBY: good, cheerful, pure, courageous, bright, and secure. Such associations help to create an interesting character and guarantee to evoke a positive response among the audience.

For courageous, dexterous and hardy IRBY snow is a native element and sport is the way of life. Strong, graceful, full of energy, it is very friendly and cannot imagine the life without movement and communication.

Snow leopard by name IRBI lives in high mountains. Nobody can compete with IRBI in dexterity, strength and endurance. IRBI likes to play in snow and jump on rocks. However amid high mountain peaks there is nobody to play with but only a shy argali and lordly eagles. Once IRBI heard that in the cities of Astana and Almaty there is a great holiday coming named “Winter Asian Olympic Games” that will bring together courageous, strong and hardy people from different countries.

«That is where I will meet friends», said Irbi gladly and began his journey …