This blog was created to convey the London Olympic experience by fusing years of journalistic practice with the glowing white heat of social media and citizen reporting. It is, therefore, something of a surprise to discover that its most popular work so far concerns a mouthless mascot.
Yet is that not a perfect metaphor for life itself? Sometimes someone thrusts a mutant Teletubby into your hand and you just have to run with it. Inspire A Generation indeed.
Having broken the biggest story of the Games so far by revealing Wenlock’s shock no-show at the Olympic Park and following up with an exclusive report of a rare sighting, this blog has continued to keep a close eye on the feckless figurehead’s movements.
It pains me to say that the evidence is incontrovertible: Wenlock is a shameless showboating mercenary who turns up only when he sees a chance of money and fame for himself. (Some may argue that this makes him a perfect mascot for London in 2012, particularly its bankers and politicians, but this blog chooses to take a less cynical view.)
I can exclusively reveal that Wenlock was nowhere to be seen at Wembley last week at the South Korea v Gabon match. Nor did he deign to put in an appearance at the women’s basketball on Friday morning. In fact, once again there was no sign of him anywhere in the Olympic Park that day.
I also scanned television pictures of the men’s tennis final but there was no trace of Wenlock even at Wimbledon. (He may have feared being attacked by a disgusted member of The Wombles, well known for their work ethic and surely appalled by his work-shy foppery.)
But where was Wenlock only too happy to be seen at the weekend? At the Olympic Stadium, of course. Cavorting around on prime-time television as Britain won triple gold on Saturday and Usain Bolt took the 100 metres title on Sunday. Most shamelessly of all, he was also thrusting golden Wenlocks into the hands of Olympic champions. There can be no doubt that he has signed a lucrative image rights deal with the Olympic organisers and will be rubbing himself with cash as innocent children pester their parents into ordering golden Wenlocks from the London 2012 website. But Wenlock is nothing if not a thoroughly modern mascot. Not content with this barefaced commercialism, he took to Twitter to boast about it and secure yet more free advertising:
Even here, Wenlock cannot help but reveal his true colours. A fan responds to his tweet by asking if he will be at the canoe sprint on Wednesday. His response is no surprise to those of us who have come to know him well — nothing but snooty silence. (I think by now we can all imagine him glancing at his phone in disbelief. “Canoe slalom? Are you kidding? I don’t get out of bed for anything less than a 20 million TV audience!”)
One other possible reason for Wenlock’s elusiveness has recently come to my attention. I have been struck by how some female readers of this blog have leapt to his defence. Despite having been branded creepy and terrifying by a leading American expert, Wenlock is clearly something of a ladies’
mascot. One female friend of the blog has described him as “very cute” and “quite cuddly when I met him”. I was, of course, too polite to ask any more but I suspect Wenlock may be especially hard to spot during the day as he is still sleeping off some high living from the night before.
Surely it is high time that Wenlock explained himself. If he wants to prove he is not just a ruthless glory-hunter, I challenge him to meet me at the women’s football semi-final this afternoon or the handball quarter-finals on Wednesday night. Rest assured he will not escape tough questioning just because he is a non-human. An exemplary precedent has already been set in this area…