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Today London Olympic 2012 mascots were unveiled. These strange-shaped guys with one eye, targeting young children, are Wenlock and Mandeville. London Olympic committee explains that they are made from drops of steel from girders used in the construction of the 2012 London games. Olympic games mascot Wenlock is named after the village of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, which hosted the Wenlock Olympian Games, a precursor to the modern Olympic games in the 19th Century. Mandeville is a mascot for Paralympic games, and its name comes from Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games. I am afraid that these names seem to be quite hard for non-British to remember, and also how many British know these episodes?? I can remember ‘Wenlock,’ as it is the street name of my address.
Swastika looking 2012 Olympic logo, which massively cost £400,000, has been harshly bashed, and media and people’s response towards these mascots are quite harsh as well, such as ‘creepy’ ‘bloody awful’ ‘rubbish’ etc, etc. The Guardian article sarcastically says, “their cyclopean eyes, that may remind many of the lenses of CCTV cameras staring from pretty much every building, station and street corner in the city” – it is quite true, actually. I understand that London has to come up with something edgy, since the city tries to sell itself as ‘creative’ capital of the world, but… It is a huge bet, considering generally negative reactions from the people against olympic logo and mascots.
The idea of the Olympic mascot dates from the winter games held in Grenoble in 1968, and first commercially successful mascot is Misha the bear of 1980 Moscow Olympics. My favorite is the sausage dog Waldi, created for the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics – because my parents’ pet is Miniature Duchshund and I love her :-).