Early on Friday morning, if all goes to plan, Wenlock and Mandeville will make their final steps towards the summit of Mount Fuji and unfurl a celebratory banner.
The opening of the London Games is obviously a big deal for Brits, even those in Japan, and it is British embassy staff who are behind the effort, along with a team from Fujinomiya City.
Wenlock and Mandeville are named after a small town, Much Wenlock, in Shropshire – which hosted a precursor to the modern Olympic Games in the 19th Century – and the supposed birthplace of the Paralympic Games (at which wounded WWII veterans held an archery tournament), Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire.
Despite their looks – modeled on drops of steel which ‘leaked’ and escaped when metal for the Olympic stadium was being forged – they should have the power to reach the 3776.24 m summit.
There is a history of strange looking Olympic mascots and these guys are no exception – at least they will be easy to spot for other climbers! Check out the yellow lamps on their heads – said to be inspired by the London taxi.
The embassy say that they will “also be marking the achievement of Sir Rutherford Alcock, Britain’s first resident minister to Japan, who became the first foreigner to successfully reach the peak of Mount Fuji in 1860.”
Fingers crossed – have a look here to see updates on the team’s progress! Good luck!