Torches & Mascots

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London Paralympic Torch Relay

London 2012 - Official Olympic & Paralympic Torch

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London Paralympic Torch Relay
Olympic Mascots: Wenlock and Mandeville
London Olympic Torch Relay
London Olympic Torch Relay
London Olympic Torch Relay
 

 

Both the Olympics and Paralympics are preceded by nationwide Torch Relays while Wenlock and Mandeville are London 2012's official mascots.

 
 

London Olympic Torch Relay

Friday 18 May 2012 – Friday 27 July 2012

Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Stratford, London, E20 2ST

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station

 

Dates: 21st - 27th July 2012

 

Travelling all over the UK on a 70-day journey, the Olympic Torch Relay will be carried by 8,000 people in a bid to spread a message of peace, unity and friendship in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. As is the tradition, the Flame is lit from the sun's rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia in a ceremony in the ruins of the home of the Ancient Games in Greece before making its journey to the host nation. The Torch will arrive at Lands End in the most south-westerly tip of UK on Friday 18 May before starting its long journey. Covering 110 miles a day, the Torch Relay will visit a different town or city in the UK every evening, from Plymouth on 19 May to Westminster on 26 July, the eve of the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. The vast majority around 95 percent of the population will be within one-hour journey of the Flame, which will call in all over the UK as well as the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. Torchbearers are made up of a list of 8,000 "inspirational" people who will have been nominated by the public and then picked from a ballot at random. The relay will finish at the Opening Ceremony hosted in the Olympic Stadium on 29 July where an as-yet-unknown athlete or sporting personality will be entrusted with lighting the Olympic Flame to mark the start of the Games. To check when the Torch Relay is closest to your home, please look on the official website.

 
 
 

London Paralympic Torch Relay

Friday 24 August 2012 – Wednesday 29 August 2012

 

A new concept will be tried out at London 2012 with the Paralympic Torch Relay seeing four separate flames lit in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff on one-day intervals before all four torches come together for a special ceremony at Stoke Mandeville the home of the Paralympics to create the Paralympic Flame. Taking in the four capital cities of the countries that make up the United Kingdom, the six-day event will start with the lighting of the London Flame on 24 August, followed by the lighting of flames in Belfast (25 August), Edinburgh (26 August) and Cardiff (27 August). The special ceremony the Stoke Mandeville Flame Festival will take place on 28 August where the four flames will come together on the site of where Sir Ludwig Guttmann first tested out the Paralympic concept back in 1948. This will be followed by a 24-hour relay that will see the Paralympic Flame travel with the help of 580 lucky torchbearers to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in time for the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony on 29 August.

 
 
 

Olympic Mascots: Wenlock and Mandeville

Animated drops of steel from Bolton - no, really

 

Believe it or not but Wenlock and Mandeville the official mascots of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton, in the north west of England. The former gets his name from the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a mid-19th century forerunner of the current Olympic Games; the latter from Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the birthplace of the Stoke Mandeville Games that were born in 1848 as a precursor to the Paralympic Games. Fictionally formed from the last girder of the Olympic Stadium, Wenlock and Mandeville have highly polished steel skin and are one-eyed creatures with their initial W or M encircled in the orange light of a London taxi on top of their heads. While public appearances have seen positive feedback from children, one American critic said they were the product of a "drunken one-night stand between a Teletubby and a Dalek" in an article entitled 'Beyold the One-Eyed Compromise Monster'. The writer Michael Morpurgo, author of the hit book War Horse, wrote the story concept to the mascots, and an animation has been produced which will be shown on TV in the build-up to the Games.

 
 
 
 
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