Wenlock takes his name from the town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, which still hosts the traditional Much Wenlock Games. These were one of Pierre de Coubertin's sources of inspiration for the modern Olympic Games.
According to the story by Michael Morpurgo, Wenlock's metallic look is explained by the fact that he was made from one of the last drops of steel used to build the Olympic Stadium in London.
The light on his head is based on those found on London's famous black cabs. The shape of his forehead is identical to that of the Olympic Stadium roof. His eye is the lens of a camera, filming everything he sees. On his wrists, he wears five bracelets in the colours of the Olympic rings. And the three points on his head represent the three places on the podium for the medal winners.
Iris design agency
Streets, parks and underground station entrances in London were decorated with 84 sculptures of Wenlock and the Paralympic mascot, Mandeville, standing 2 metres 30 tall and each weighing a ton, to help guide tourists during the Games. These sculptures were decorated by 22 designers to reflect their surroundings.
The mascots were chosen in a competition launched in 2008. More than 100 designers, artists and agencies submitted proposals. Wenlock and Mandeville were chosen from a series of designs which included a humanised pigeon, an animated teacup and representations of Big Ben featuring arms and legs.