Tuesday, August 14, 2012

London 2012 A Moment to Shine


That's what I have to say about the last two weeks.   (So much for being a poetic wordsmith.)   But, that is the word that comes to mind.  Wow!  

We were very excited to be in London this year for the Jubilee and Olympics.  And it has so exceeded our expectations.  London has been the friendliest and most exciting place on earth.  

It started early this Summer with the Olympic Torch Relay.  We followed along on television as the torch spent 70 days traveling Great Britain.

Then the rings appeared on Tower Bridge!  What a sight that was.  You could feel the excitement building. 

Finally the Olympic Flame arrived in London and the Royal Navy made a special delivery to the Tower of London a few days before the opening ceremony.  

These two huge helicopters came right up the Thames, around the bridge and then hovered right over the Tower of London. 

We are in our new apartment just down from Tower Bridge, so we had a front row seat.  It was way cool.  

The torch traveled around all of London over the next few days.  On Thursday before the Opening Ceremony, I walked over to Bermondsey to see it pass through our neck of the woods.  

Over the 70 day relay, 8,000 inspirational torchbearers each had their "Moment to Shine!"  Teachers, athletes, wounded warriors, coaches, students... each with their very own special story.  

Unfortunately, I have no idea who this guy is.  Boo.  I tried to find out on the internet, but had no luck.  I'm sure he is a terrific guy with a great story. 

Even without the inside scoop it was still pretty cool to see the Olympic Torch.  The crowd was excited and it was just a taste of what was to come.   Did you know that the torch had 8,000 holes in it to represent the 8,000 torchbearers.  

The triangular design represented a variety of things...

Respect, Excellence and Friendship (The Olympic Values)
Faster, Higher and Stronger (The Olympic Motto)
Sports, Education and Culture (2012 Olympic Vision)
1908, 1948 and 2012 (London Olympic Host Years)

Then these little guys started appearing everywhere.  "What the?" is usually the reaction.  They are odd little creatures. 

But the other day I found a little pamphlet that explained the official mascots of London 2012.  

Children's author Michael Morpurgo wrote a story about these two characters... the Wenlock and the Mandeville.   According to his story, they were created from the last drops of steel used to build the Olympic Stadium.  

The yellow lights on their head are inspired by the yellow lights on top of each London taxi.  And the one giant eye is a camera to record their special travels around the United Kingdom.  Their job is to inspire you to take up sport and get moving!

This is Wenlock who is named after Much Wenlock, a small town in Shropsire.  Baron Pierre de Coubertin visited Much Wenlock in 1890 for their annual sporting festival.  He was so inspired that he went on to establish the modern Olympic games.  Wenlock has a W on his little taxi light and he is wearing the five olympic rings on his wrists. 

This is Mandeville.  You can tell by his aerodynamic helmet with the M on his yellow taxi light.  His helmet features the Red, Blue and Green of the Paralympics.  He is from Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire.  In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttman organized a sports tournament in Stoke Mandeville for injured soldiers from WWII.  This was the beginning of the modern Paralympic games. 

Aren't they a lot cuter when you know their story?  

I have a few more posts to come about our fantabulous Olympic experience!!  

What did you think about the Olympics? 


Pictures are ours taken with the Nikon D90.  The information on the mascots was taken from Meet the Mascots leaflet published by BMW UK, an Official Sponsor of London 2012.  This is not a sponsored post.


  1. Hasn't it been spectacular! I'm back in Houston right now, but I'm so proud for London and the big success of the Olympics!

  2. I love your story about the mascots. My son thinks Wenlock is really cool - me, not so much.

  3. Also, I have to laugh that the woman in grey running next to the torch - she is probably the most photographed woman in GB right now. I think she's in everyone's photos - including mine!


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