Latest Channel 4 News:
Row over Malaysian state's coins
'Four shot at abandoned mine shaft'
Rain fails to stop Moscow wildfires
Cancer blow for identical twins
Need for Afghan progress 'signs'

London 2012 Olympic mascots unveiled

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 19 May 2010

Wenlock and Mandeville have been unveiled as the official mascots of the London 2012 Olympics amd paralympics, with games organiser Seb Coe pledging they will "engage and excite" children. However critics say the mascots resemble one-eyed humanoids.

Olympic mascot Wenlock and Mandeville (Credit: London 2012)

The two mascots were unveiled to children at a school in Tower Hamlets, east London this afternoon.

Wenlock is the mascot for the 2012 Olympics. Orange and silver in colour, it has been named after Much Wenlock, the Shropshire town who's Olympian games inspired Baron de Coubertin to establish the first games in Athens in 1896.

Mandeville is the mascot for the 2012 Paralympics, named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire, where the first 1948 paralympic games were conceived.

Designers said the character's prominent spots were not meant to be an eye, but a camera.

The two characters have also had back-stories written about them, to boost their appeal among children.

Written by childrens' writer Michael Morpurgo, it explains how they were formed from two drops of northern steel from the girders that make up the Olympic Stadium.

Lord Coe, the 2012 chairman, described the mascots as designed for children.

"They're fun and a great way, we hope, of engaging them and exciting them to take up all sorts of things."

"We've worked very hard with research groups, we've spoken to lots and lots of children.

"What they told us was they wanted something that they related to, and they wanted something that was a really good story." 

Coe told Channel 4 News that the mascots' designer found that children "did not want a furry animal".

Critics, though, have already suggested the mascots look like one-eyed cyclops.

They also say the mascots may not be as soft and cuddly as those seen at other previous tournaments - such as Berlino the Bear at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

Berlino the Bear and Usain Bolt (Credit: Getty)

However the mascots could be heading for the same critical response as the London 2012 logo, which was unveiled to mixed reviews in 2007.

Some observers condemned its £400,000 cost.

A segment of animated footage to promote the logo was also claimed to trigger seizures in a small number of people, prompting it to be removed from the official London website.

Send this article by email

More on this story

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Watch the Latest Channel 4 News

Watch Channel 4 News when you want

Latest Arts & Entertainment news

More News blogs

View RSS feed

Edinburgh Fringe

Courtesy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Your guide to the biggest arts festival on earth.

A stage for war


An army training village becomes a theatre.

Cartoon coalition


How Channel 4 News viewers picture the coalition in cartoon form

Theatre of war


British soldiers are sent to the theatre to learn about Afghanistan.

Painting the town red


Architect Jean Nouvel unveils his red pavilion in central London.

Most watched


Find out which reports and videos are getting people clicking online.

Channel 4 © 2010. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.