Duncan Mackay

It is a thrilling moment on the road to the London 2012 Games. The Olympic and Paralympic mascots have been chosen and officially revealed to the world.

At the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), we are celebrating the creation of Mandeville, the Paralympic mascot who is certain to bring the Paralympic Movement to new heights. Like its Olympic friend Wenlock formed from a drop of steel from the Olympic Stadium’s construction, Mandeville offers a youthful touch to the big event in 2012.

I congratulate the London 2012 Organising Committee for the excellent choice of this unique mascot. I am sure that the mascot will be loved by children all over the world.

The form and spirit of Mandeville is already clearly present upon first glance, and what progresses over the next two years will further this around the world. And as more and more people meet our mascot, they will forever be given a lasting impression of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The name Mandeville is most inspiring, as it is also a reminder of the history of the Paralympic Movement. In 1944, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, at the request of the British Government, opened a spinal injuries centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

A new approach introduced sport as a paramount part of the remedial treatment and total rehabilitation of persons with a disability. Rehabilitation sport evolved rather quickly to recreational sport and the next step to competitive sport was only a matter of some years.

On July 28, 1948, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Dr. Guttmann organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games. In 1952, Dutch ex-servicemen joined the movement and the International Stoke Mandeville Games were founded.

As Mandeville travels around, children and adults alike will learn about the history of the Paralympic Movement. Furthermore, they will see how Paralympic sport is alive and well and continues to grow, offering opportunities to people with a disability who are interested in sport. We are a growing Movement.

Mandeville is modern, and is adaptable to all environments.

His story is one that can be likened to our athletes, as they too are a modern representation of athletic ability and performance. Their skills on and off the field of play continue to inspire audiences everywhere.

Our history will be represented in the name, spirit and form of Mandeville, the London 2012 Paralympic mascot. And as young people learn about the Paralympic Games and the magnitude of what is possible in life, they too will be inspired to achieve more and challenge themselves beyond all boundaries.

Welcome to the Paralympic Family, Mandeville!

Sir Philip Craven is the President of the International Paralympic Committee. He represented Britain in five consecutive Paralympic Games between 1972 and 1988, competing in athletics, basketball and swimming