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We started with Waldi, the dachshund, and via eagles, beavers, bears and superheroes, we have Wenlock and Mandeville for London 2012
We’ve only had Olympic mascots since 1972 (the Games in Munich, in case you were wondering). We started with Waldi, the dachshund, and via eagles, beavers, bears and superheroes, we have Wenlock and Mandeville for London 2012.
The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London, kindly provided some of these images. The museum is hosting an exhibition of 38 mascots from past summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic games, including Wenlock and Mandeville, and it runs until October 28.
Have a look at the mascots through the years:
1972 Munich, Germany – Waldi the Dachshund
1976 Montreal, Canada – Amik the beaver
1980 Moscow, Russia – Misha, Mishka or The Olympic Mishka bear
1984 Los Angeles, USA – Sam the eagle
1988 Seoul, South Korea – Hodori the tiger
1992 Barcelona, Spain – Cobi the dog
1996 Atlanta – Izzy (What is it?)
2000 Sydney, Australia – Syd, Olly and Millie
The mascots, Syd, Olly and Millie were designed by Matt Hatton and Jozef Szekeres. Representing earth, air and water, Olly, the kookaburra, was a symbol of generosity. Syd, the platypus, stood for the energy and vigor of Australia (and Australians). Millie, the echidna, was a symbol of the Millennium, showing how technologically advanced the country was in 2000.
2004 Athens, Greece – Athena and Phevos
2008 Beijing, China – Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini
Drawing inspiration from the five Olympic rings, four of these playful characters embody the characteristics of China’s favorite animals – the fish (Beibei), panda (Jingjing), Tibetan antelope (Yingying) and swallow (Nini). The fifth (Huanhuan) represents the Olympic flame. The five elements of nature are represented too – the sea, forest, fire, earth and sky.
Each of the mascots has a rhyming two-syllable name and when you put their names together – Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni – they say “Welcome to Beijing”.
2012 London – Wenlock and Mandeville
Formed from two blobs of molten steel from a steelworks in Bolton, or so the legend goes, Wenlock is named after Much Wenlock, the town in Shropshire which held the Olympian Society Annual Games, a forerunner of the modern Olympics. Mandeville is named for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which organized the Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor of the Paralympics.
They each have cameras for eyes and London Taxi headlights with the first letter of their name.
(All Wenlock and Mandeville images are courtesy of London 2012.)
Olympic mascots through the years [PICS] was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Pleasance Coddington