Official website of 16th FINA World Championships 2015 in Kazan
16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015

Two snow leopards, Itil and Alsu, unveiled as mascots for 2015 FINA World Championships

27.03.2014, 16:44 Official events
The official marks of the 16th FINA World Championships were presented at the Kazan Arena Stadium on March 27. President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Dr. Julio C. Maglione, FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu and Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate Azat Kadyrov unveiled the slogan, the logo and the mascots of the upcoming sporting event.


The central component of the advertising campaign that will enable to create a colourful and fresh promotional image of the upcoming event is its slogan, ‘Water of Life’. This slogan reflects the mystical powers of water, as in many fairy-tales the Water of Life is able to rejuvenate a person, return his strength and even bring him back to life. In Russian it sounds ‘Zhivaya Voda’ that refers to exactly the same meaning. This slogan was chosen for a good reason as the benefits of playing water sports were proved both by experts and thousands of aquatic sports enthusiasts.


The logo is a stylised depiction of Kazan located on the banks of the Volga and Kazanka rivers. The six inner silhouettes are the six sports of the future Championships. The logo was designed back in 2011 when Kazan was bidding to host the 16th FINA World Championships. After including the new FINA discipline – high diving – in the competition programme, the logo was updated and now it features silhouettes of six sports instead of five as planned before. The watercolour technique was chosen due to it being synonymous with water. This logo will look good on any advertising media and will perfectly fit into the merchandise and visual design elements of venues and the city. The logo of the Masters tournament, which for the first time in the FINA history will be included in the main event programme, resembles the graphic symbol of the 2015 FINA World Championships - a polygonal crystal - but it is made up of a different colour – burgundy which is reminiscent of wine and is associated with maturity and noble wisdom, experience and knowledge.

The mascots are two snow leopards - Itil (boy) and Alsu (girl). In the context of the Championships, this animal symbolises skill, swiftness and power. The male name, Itil, is the medieval name of the Volga River, and it is still used in the Kazakh, Chuvash, Tatar, Bashkir, Kalmyk and Mongolian languages. The female name, Alsu, is the common Tatar name meaning ‘pink-coloured water’ or figuratively ‘rosy cheeks’, which is strongly connected with the idea of water and healthy lifestyle. When choosing the mascots’ names, the organisers kept in mind such criteria as uniqueness, clarity of perception, ease of memorisation, national colour and the ways the names are pronounced in different languages, which is particularly important for the international event.


A nationwide competition was held to choose the best mascot design for the event. Throughout one month all citizens of Russia had been sending in their own visions of a mascot which was to become an embodiment of sports, youth, water sports and our country’s rich traditions. Entries were submitted by representatives of different regions of Russia, among them professional designers, schoolchildren, students and sports enthusiasts. Given that the majority of concepts were identical, the contest organisers decided to make a shortlist of mascot designs and put forward the best graphic representations to the public online vote on the official Kazan 2015 website. More than 3,000 votes have been cast within one week. The snow leopard became the ‘people’s choice’ and its creator – Anastasia Tsygina –was granted an unlimited free access to all the sporting events of the upcoming 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan.

“The snow leopard is one of the symbols of the Republic of Tatarstan, among others it appears on our region’s emblem. Uni the winged snow leopard kitten was the mascot of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan, and it may be said without exaggeration that it took the fancy of all guests and participants of the Games. Therefore, the snow leopard is associated with high sports achievements of Tatarstan and its capital city, Kazan,” Azat Kadyrov said while extending his congratulations to the winner.


Prior to the presentation, the FINA executives Julio Maglione and Cornel Marculescu, who had arrived in Kazan for an inspection visit, shared their impression of the host city’s preparation for the Championships. “We are very pleased to be in this city. It has changed so much over the past few years. I say once more - we picked a perfect host city for the Championships. You are very hard-working and proficient in managing sporting events,” Mr. Maglione said to representatives of the Organising Committee.

“Kazan is a very sports-oriented and young city. Love for sports lives in the hearts of its residents, and it is important for all of us,” said Cornel Marculescu.









Press Department of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships Kazan 2015