New Olympic mascots unveiled

Caroline Cassidy

Following the unveiling of the official 2012 Olympic symbol in 2007, the designers of the new London 2012 Olympic mascots must be hoping for a far better reception.

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Their two characters, Wenlock and Mandeville, are said to have been created from the last drops of steel left over from the final support girder of the new Olympic stadium.

The one-eyed creatures represent the Olympics and London in their designs. They have friendship bracelets that represent the five Olympic rings, one has a head shaped like the three-staged winners podium, the other's head has a light like a London taxi. One wears a personal best timer to track his running performance and they both sport the Olympic symbol.

The name Wenlock is taken from the town in Shropshire where the Wenlock Games, in the mid-nineteenth century became an inspiration for the modern games. Mandeville is named after the hospital Stoke Mandeville where games were set up for patients in the spinal ward. These games were a forerunner of the Paralympics, which Mandeville is the mascot for.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson believes the new designs are modern.

He said: "It's hard to imagine a mascot more in tune with the times."

They certainly are in keeping with the times as each mascot has its own Facebook and Twitter account and there will be an animated film about the pair.

Organisers are being reticent about revealing the cost of the mascot's design. But opposers are comparing them to the Olympic symbol which cost £400,000.

Stephen Bayley, founder of the Design Museum, said: "The logo was hideous enough but now we have these ridiculous, infantile mascots. Who is to blame for this I ask you? Given the economic predicament that Britain is in at the minute, what right do they have to throw their money at such hideous creatures? They are atrocious."

What do you think, do we need mascots or are they a waste of money? Leave your comments below.