Today’s release of Wenlock and Mandeville, the latest additions to the Olympic mascot family, caused many to do a double take.
They. Are. Frightening. And confusing.
Yes, the mascots for the London 2012 Olympic Games are two cyclopes, fashioned — according to their “back story” — from two drops of molten steel spilled in the making of the last steel girder used in the Olympic Stadium. Yeesh.
According to the Telegraph:
LOCOG Chairman Sebastian 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.”
Exactly how two, lumbering optic nerves splattered with finger paint will inspire kids to reach for the stars is unclear, especially since promoters have said Wenlock and Mandeville will be Tweeting and Facebooking nonstop. Oh, and that one eye they have? Yeah, that’s supposed to be a camera lens to see the world. At least they’re paying homage to Orwell at the London Olympics.
As Deadspin said: You might as well just sacrifice your firstborn now and get it over with.
But as many commentators have noted, the Olympic Post-Modern Conceptual Committee is usually miss-or-miss when designing the Mascot. After all, who could forget Atlanta’s strange, radioactive chiclet, Izzy? Forget competition, inspiration and dedication. It’s pretty clear that weird is the underlining theme for every Olympic mascots. Exibits A through J below: