Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Center of Culture Gives Us Wenlock & Mandeville?

(Mandeville not shown)
is pictured above
in Union Jack suit
The 2012 Summer Olympics will be in London, and even though I still have not had the pleasure to compete in nor attend,  I have had the privilege of being glued to the television from as far back as 1972, when Mark Spitz and Dave Wottle stole the show in Munich, all the way up to more recent Olympic history when Michael Phelps brought home gold from Beijing in 2008. The 2012 Olympics in London is starting in just 6 days, and I think watching it on TV still grants us license to be a part of history as we sit up and say, "I saw that when it happened."

We would also like to congratulate our local Fremont and Pleasanton east bay area residents who will be participating in a much more real sense by carrying the torch. This season, ten teens, representing eight states and fourteen charities and organizations, were nominated by peers, teachers, and leaders of youth organizations. Here in the east bay, we have Kylan Nieh, age 19, Fremont, CA  and Sarah Williams, age 19, Pleasanton, CA. Congratulations Kylan and Sarah!

There is a small bit of unfinished business for I think some of us though, the 2012 Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville. Really London? The center of culture, and you came up with a quirky, one-eyed thing for the 2012 Olympic mascots. We saw their debut in 2010, and writer Paul Kelso, was quick to describe them as, "Two parts-Pokemon to one-part lava lamp with yellow ‘Taxi’ lights on their foreheads..." (read his full article here.) I hear they are quite the scream over in England and they are well-loved icons now. But, did England's forty focus groups consider creating a stylized Beefeater, Palace Guard or maybe even a mascot derived from a red phone booth? Maybe not the phone booth, but what about using real animals as a start? I have taken some time in compiling a list of some animals commonly found in England that could have made a decent go at becoming a mascot: List below. Comments are in italics.

• Eurasian Otter-ok, really fast and fun to watch
• Polecat-maybe
• Hazel Dormouse-good one, has a nice English sound to it
• Natterjack Toad-love the name, but still no for the Olympic mascot
• Great Crested Newt-another good one
Adder--right out
Smooth Snake--albeit smooth--too scary, may frighten some children
• Tawny Owl-I love owls
• Stoat--extremely adorable, fast, and very competitive, good contender click for image
• Pine Marten--equally adorable as Stoat above, runner up click for image

Regardless of the choice of mascot, he 2012 London Olympics is just about to kick off.  The opening ceremonies will be on the 27th of July. Please do not miss it. Maybe Wenlock and Mandeville will grow on me.

Here is a wiki on Olympic mascots past, present and a little future. click here By Jeff Pereyda

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