The 2012 London Olympic games are here! With opening ceremonies tonight here in the USA I can not wait for the world’s largest summer sporting event to get under way. There are so many thing that bring us together but there is nothing like the world of Olympic Sport. The level of competition is so elite that you can’t but praise all of the athletes of all of the countries. I know I sure as hell could not do what they do. As much as I love watching the athletes I even more love the Olympic mascots. I have always been a fan of the Olympic rings but as mascots have become more prominent I have found myself clamoring to learn more about them.
The first ones I truly remember were the Beijing mascots. If you do not remember these guys they were just so so cute.
They each stood for a different part of the games and were symbols of encouragement. I even went so far as to purchase plush versions of all 5 of them because I had to have their spirit in my home.
This year we are lucky to have Wenlock and Mandeville. These two little guys do not look like any particular animal or anything. In fact these guys have a very unique story. The best thing about what London has done is that they have given them a great story so they are not just mascots they are powerful symbols of what it means to be an Olympian and what it means to bring the world together.
Wenlock and Mandeville were made from pieces of steel in a steel factory where they were building the beams for the Olympic stadium. An older man named George who was retiring took home these pieces of steel and he fashioned them into Wenlock and Mandeville. He gave them to his grand children and a rainbow came down through their window and gave life to the statues. As Wenlock and Mandeville played with the children seeing pictures of athletes and trying to do what those athletes could do they realized that they had to share the Olympic spirit. Wenlock sees a book about Much Wenlock who is credited with being the founder of the modern Olympic games and he takes on his name. Mandeville sees a picture of Stoke Mandeville the town where the Paralympic games were founded and he took this to heart and took the name of the town. The two realized they needed to spread the word so they left on that rainbow to tell everyone about the Olympics and they will meet again in London for the 2012 games.
The exciting part about this is that very day when they will meet again and we all will be there too is TODAY!
So let us meet and understand why Wenlock and Mandeville look the way they do!
Wenlock: He has a head shape that looks like the Olympic stadium and represents the 3 medals won in the games, a taxi light on his head inspired by the black taxis, his eye is a camera so he can capture everything, he wears friendship bands int he colors of the Olympic rings.
Mandeville: His head is the shape of a helmet and aerodynamic it also features the 3 Paralympic colors, he too has a taxi light and his eye is also a camera, he wears a personal best timer so he can keep track of his performance so he can train harder to always be better.
How could you not love these little guys! I wish I was in London so I could meet them. If you want to get to know them better you should head on over to their website it features videos so you can learn more about them, games you can play and you can even create your own London 2012 mascot. I think the interactive nature of their website is a phenomenal aspect. It really gives you a chance to feel like you are involved and I highly recommend everyone check it out.
In addition to the website you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook. So QUICK start following @iamwenlock and @iammandeville they will give you updates all through the games! I started following them and have really enjoyed their tweets. Later today I will be setting up TweetDeck to follow Olympic hashtags and I will have a column just for them! You can also find them on Facebook on their pages Wenlock FB Page, Mandeville FB Page take some time and visit these two I guarantee you will love them.
As for me and the actual Olympics what am I looking forward to? I am a huge fan of Gymnastics so my primary focus will be on the US Women and Men as they compete for gold. The girls look very strong this year as do the boys. I am also looking forward to swimming and diving I love seeing those athletes compete because I know I could NEVER do that. I also really love to watch the volleyball and the track portion of the games. This year I have already started watching the Soccer matches so I know I will be looking forward to that as well.
So ladies and gents get your DVRs set because the Olympics is coming. Let’s show the United State our support!
USA! USA! USA!
May the force be with you,