London 2012 unveils mascots

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The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has unveiled its Olympic mascot, Wenlock, and Paralympic mascot, Mandeville.

Wenlock and Mandeville were created from the last drops of steel left over from the construction of the final support beam for the Olympic Stadium. An animated film, based on a story by children's author Michael Morpurgo, shows how the figures were brought to life and are able to reflect and adapt to their surroundings. The mascots' names reflect the UK's rich Olympic and Paralympic histories. Wenlock's name is inspired by the Shropshire village of Much Wenlock, which helped inspire the founder of the modern Olympic movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, to create the Olympic Games. Mandeville's name is inspired by Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire. The Stoke Mandeville Games, widely recognised as a forerunner of the modern Paralympic movement, were first held at the hospital there. LOCOG Chair Seb Coe commented: " We've created our mascots for children. They will connect young people with sport and tell the story of our proud Olympic and Paralympic history. By linking young people to the values of sport, Wenlock and Mandeville will help inspire kids to strive to be the best they can be. " Wenlock and Mandeville will now go on separate journeys, often crossing paths and meeting people all over the country inspiring them to choose sport as they head towards the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. A national schools competition has been launched to determine where Wenlock and Mandevilles journeys take them next. Wenlock and Mandeville were designed by London creative agency Iris, following an intensive selection process that included nationwide focus groups of young people, families and industry experts. Meanwhile, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has announced that the Velodrome roof structure has been completed for the London 2012 Olympic Games and will be the first Olympic Park sporting venue to be finished. The distinctive double–curved roof has now been lifted into place in one of the biggest cable–net roof lifts in the UK. The Aquatics Centre is also close to finish; the Olympic Delivery Authority has started testing the venue that will host Swimming and Diving events during the London 2012 Games. The three concrete pools are being filled with more than 10m litres of water to check they are watertight before being sealed and lined with 180, 000 tiles. MEI readers can take a fly–through showing the park's most recent progress on You Tube:http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=9prmF994Ja4&dm_i=3IH, 4TUM, HRR3O, F0XM, 1

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