New Medals, Finished Buildings, Weird Mascots and Strange Type: A 2012 Olympic News Bonanza

We told you a few days back that with just a year left before it kicks off, we were going to start hearing a lot more about the 2012 London Olympics. And of course we were right, because we’re not only smart, but we’re also gifted with the second sight. Just in the last couple of days there’s been a bevy of news about the games and their various accoutrements. First, it’s been announced that construction is now complete on all the main venues. Furthermore, organizers are bragging that the whole effort came in both on time and under budget. Said chairman of the London Olympics, John Armitt, “In 2006 we said that the summer of 2011 was the point when we wanted the venues available for test events.” Thanks to a great team effort, we are exactly where we wanted to be.” Among those now-finished buildings is the much-discussed Aquatics Center by Zaha Hadid, which was broken in on Wednesday with a ceremonial first dive. In Building Design‘s review, they like the building itself, but aren’t so hot on the extra seating temporarily affixed to the sides that will allow Olympic-sized crowds. Next, hot off the heels of last month’s unveiling of the torch, the 2012 medals have now been shown to we the public. Designed by David Watkins, they’re nice and shiny and each has all sorts of symbolism, as you’d expect. Finally, we make two quick judgements: First, although they’re apparently already more than a year old, we’re only just now learning about the 2012 mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville. Maybe they’re a nod to some sort of thing that only British people understand, or maybe London is just continuing that popular tradition of making mascots that don’t make a bit of sense, but either way, we’re confused. Second: they’re apparently still really keeping to the standards book that must’ve been created along with Wolff Olins‘ controversial logo, because that’s the only thing that can help explain the “1 Year To Go” signs that were everywhere during this week’s announcements (see the photo above). Either that or they thought of reminding people about the time left only seconds before the press conferences and just decided to using masking tape to make a couple of podium signs.