2012 Olympics Mascots
Meet Wenlock and Mandeville, mascots for the 2012 Olympics. To answer your question – they’re drops of molten steel from a beam destined for the Olympic stadium.
Perhaps it’s churlish to get too snooty over characters which are intended for children, but I’m sure the child in me would be more drawn to these two if they had more of a distinct identity to relate to. I guess we now live in a post-Teletubbian era, but these little fellas seem so very non-descript that it’s hard to believe they’ll last long in the memory after the games.
They also seem like a missed opportunity to say something fresh about England. Previous Olympic mascots such as Waldi, the Dachshund mascot for the 1972 Berlin games (still the exemplar for Olympic design), or even the Fuwa mascots of the 2008 Beijing games, successfully marry character with a distinctive provenance.
Maybe we should be thankful for what we have. While a bit bland, Wenlock and Mandeville at least avoid the trite and cliched route of anthropomorphising some generic English symbol. Rejected alternatives apparently included pigeons, an animated tea pot and – dear God – Big Ben with arms and legs.