The two mascots for the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games have been revealed, and their design and back-story have been crafted in such a way as to convey modern Olympic ideals and a sense of the events' history.

Wenlock and Mandeville are named in honor of the English village of Much Wenlock whose 'Wenlock Games' helped inspire the creation of the modern Olympic Games, and the Stoke Mandeville Hospital whose spinal injuries unit was instrumental in setting up the Paralympic movement.

Like a pair of friendly cyclops, both mascots have a single, oversized camera lens for an eye, and sport not only the appropriate Olympic or Paralympic logo but also a yellow light perched atop their heads, just like the iconic London Taxis. Wenlock's bangles are the five Olympic rings, while Mandeville's sports watch is good for measuring personal performance.

UK schoolchildren will have a chance to meet the mascots as they undertake a national tour later in the year, with a route determined by means of a competition for schools and colleges.

On an international scale, visitors to the mascots' website will be able to create their own versions of the two later this year, some of which will be showcased by the London 2012 website along with other interpretations by top sportspeople and celebrities.

There is also an introductory animated short that tells the story of Wenlock and Mandeville, written by Michael Morpurgo ( Waiting for Anya, Private Peaceful) and narrated by stage actor Simon Russel Beale (Sam Mendes' productions of Richard III, Othello, Twelfth Night), hosted at

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will start on July 27 and finish on August 12. The Paralympic Games will run from August 29 to September 9.