London 2012 mascots launched to the world
Matthew Curtain, London 2012 Weightlifting & Paralympic Powerlifting Manager has announced that the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) unveiled its Olympic mascot, Wenlock, and Paralympic mascot, Mandeville.
Wenlock and Mandeville were created from the last drops of steel left over from the construction of the final support girder for the Olympic Stadium. An animated film, based on a story by children’s author Michael Morpurgo, shows how the figures were brought to life and are able to reflect and adapt to their surroundings, changing their appearance depending on the situation. Wenlock and Mandeville will now go on separate journeys, often crossing paths and meeting people all over the UK inspiring them to choose sport as they head towards the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
The mascots’ names reflect the UK’s rich Olympic and Paralympic histories. Wenlock’s name is inspired by the Shropshire village of Much Wenlock where the ‘Wenlock Games’ was one of the inspirations that led the founder of the modern Olympic movement Baron Pierre de Coubertin to create the Olympic Games. Mandeville’s name is inspired by Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire. In the 1940s, Dr.Ludwig Guttmann came to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to set up a new spinal unit to help former soldiers suffering from spinal cord injuries. Looking for ways to inspire those in his care, he encouraged them to take up sport, leading to the formation of the Stoke Mandeville Games, widely recognised as a forerunner of the modern Paralympic movement.
LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe commented: “We’ve created our mascots for children. They will connect young people with sport and tell the story of our proud Olympic and Paralympic history. By linking young people to the values of sport, Wenlock and Mandeville will help inspire kids to strive to be the best they can be.”
Reflecting London 2012’s vision to appeal to young people, both Wenlock and Mandeville will naturally have significant presence online, with their own website at www.london2012.com/mascots which is linked to their individual Twitter and Facebook sites. These sites will give the public a chance to follow the mascots’ journey and interact with them.
To celebrate the launch of the mascots, a limited edition run of t-shirts and pin badges has been made available for sale from today on the London 2012 online shop. With the main range of product going on sale this summer, this preview range is set to become a collector’s item in years to come.
Wenlock and Mandeville were designed by London creative agency Iris, following an intensive selection process that included UK wide focus groups of young people, families and industry experts.