The Mascots for the London Olympics Have Their Eye on You

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↵As the London Olympics approach, we got our first look today at the mascot for the games. Good to see that Kang and Kodos can still find work. ↵

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↵Actually, their names are Wenlock (white/orange) and Mandeville (white/blue). According to the Telegraph, these two were created after 18 months and 40 focus groups. I can only assume those things were tasked with something like the following: "We're thinking the Teletubbies, but with more of a cyclops influence. Possibly the kind of thing that gives someone night terrors." The Telegraph went a different way, describing them as "two parts-Pokemon to one-part lava lamp." ↵

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↵As for the names, I'll let them explain: ↵

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↵⇥Much Wenlock in Shropshire is considered by many the birthplace of the modern Olympics. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the IOC, visited the town in 1890 and took inspiration from the annual Games organised by Dr William Penny Brookes, a local doctor, to “promote the moral, physical and intellectual improvement of the inhabitants”. ↵⇥

↵⇥Stoke Mandeville’s famous spinal injuries unit meanwhile was where the Paralympic movement began, and the naming of one mascot after the hospital is an explicit attempt to raise the profile of the Paralympic Games. ↵⇥

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↵I look forward to the day when we can make similar use of locations to name our Olympic mascots in the U.S. International children would've gone wild for mascots named Joliet and Aurora had Chicago landed the Olympic games.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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