Hero the Hedgehog and Whizbee the Bee are the official mascots for the IAAF World Championships and World Para Athletics Championships.
Hero and Whizbee were selected from over 4000 entries to a competition led by both event organisers and BBC’s Blue Peter. The winning pair were designed by nine-year-old Elinor from the West Midlands, one of 29 of the top 30 entires from outside of London.
“It is so exciting that my designs were chosen as the winner,” Elinor says. “I was so happy when I was told.”
“When I saw the competition, I was really inspired but I didn’t think I would win. I chose Whizbee and Hero because they are endangered species and are survivors. Bees are really important because they make the world go around and hedgehogs are determined and brave. Whizbee has a blade like the Paralympians which is really important. It’s really cool getting them made into proper mascots and I am so happy they have found an actor to perform as Whizbee. I can’t wait to see them in the summer.”
The @London2017 mascots, designed by a 9-year-old, have been revealed.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 20, 2017
Double Paralymic champion and judge Richard Whitehead adds has called the winning designs “innovative, imaginative and bold and with a touching message that we need to do more to protect these species”.
“As a dad, the values of the Championships are really important to me and London 2017 offers so much to inspire youngsters. Running at the Championships knowing I have played a part in something for athletes and spectators to engage with is really exciting and I can’t wait to celebrate success with Whizbee in July.”
The IAAF World Championships London 2017 will run from 14 to 23 July 2017, with the World ParaAthletics following from 4 until 13 August. That’s 245 events over 20 days, with over 3000 athletes from across the globe.
We recently sent our Minimaster Chloe down to meet Richard Whitehead. Watch what happened below:
We also spoke to Paralympic gold medallist Georgie Hermitage at her regular training ground to find out more about the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017.
Tickets are available now for the World Para Athletic Championships, taking place at London Stadium from the 14 – 23 July 2017. Grab them now to be part of the unmissable action. Any remaining tickets for the IAAF World Championships are available here.