Olympic mascots unveiled

The mascots for the London Olympics and Paralympics have been unveiled - one of which has been named after an area near Aylesbury.

Wenlock and Mandeville are alien-like creatures.  Mandeville is named in honour of Stoke Mandeville, where the first Paralympic games were staged in 1948.

The pair will appear on everything from toys to mugs when the mascots go on sale from this year's two-year countdown to the start of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.  A limited edition run of t-shirts and pin badges is already available on the London 2012 online shop.

Mandeville's profile

Wenlock's profile

London 2012 chair Paul Deighton said: "For our merchandising programme we anticipate royalties of between £70-80 million.

"Of course the amount the mascot contributes is a function of how many are created and how much people are interested in them.  I would not be surprised if we get between 10-20%."

A story has been created to accompany Wenlock and Mandeville, called 'Out of the Rainbow'.  It tells how they were crafted by a character called Grandpa George from the last drops of steel used to build the Olympic Stadium.

The cartoon shows Wenlock and Mandeville striking poses like sprinter Usain Bolt's bow and arrow, copying diver Tom Daley and trying a split-jump like world champion gymnast Beth Tweddle.

Watch the video showing how Wenlock and Mandeville were created

London 2012, who continue to stress its aim is to engage youngsters in sport, plumped for the abstract shapes when children who made up various focus groups said they were not interested in a human or animal mascot.

The mascots' single eye is a camera, which will capture the people they meet, the places they go and the sports they try on their journey to 2012.

Wenlock and Mandeville come complete with their own Twitter and Facebook sites plus their own website.

Schoolchildren are being asked to come up with interesting reasons for the mascots to visit their school. The most interesting invites will determine the route across Britain the mascots will take in the run-up to the 2012 Games.

The pair are also to be deployed as an educational tool to help teach children about different sports or possibly outline the route of the torch relay.

London Mayor Boris Johnson described the pairing as "a solid coalition," adding: "It's hard to imagine a mascot more in tune with the times."

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said: "The launch of the mascots is an exciting milestone in the build-up to London 2012 and will help to bring the personality of the Games to life particularly for young people."

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