Whizbee the Bee revealed as World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 mascot

Buzzing around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer will be Whizbee the Bee, who has been revealed as the official mascot of the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 following a nationwide competition with iconic BBC children's TV programme Blue Peter to discover the next championship mascot designer.

20/04/2017 00:01

Created by Elinor, aged nine from the West Midlands, Whizbee was the outstanding design among more than 4000 entries selected by a star-studded judging panel made up of members of the organising committee, the International Paralympic Committee and elite athletes including double Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead, who helped launch the mascot competition back in January. 

The inspiration and significance behind Whizbee was Elinor's important message of the need to protect bees as their numbers decline across the UK as well as the consideration of Whizbee using a prosthetic blade.

In keeping with Elinor's unique design, Whizbee will be the first ever championship mascot to be performed by an actor with a below-the-knee leg prosthesis after the championship organisers carried out a successful search for an actor who would suit the design. Whizbee will be an ever-present, friendly face at the World Para Athletics Championships, taking place from 14-23 July in the London Stadium, and will be on hand to help create a buzz among the thousands of fans who will flock to the capital to see the championships this summer. 

Of the best 30 entries, 29 of them were sent by children outside of London, demonstrating the wide reach and growing excitement ahead of the World Para Athletics Championships, which will kick off a huge Summer of World Athletics.

Along with Whizbee the Bee, Elinor also designed Hero the Hedgehog, the mascot of the IAAF World Championships London 2017, taking place from 4-13 August.

Elinor said: “It is so exciting that my designs were chosen as the winner. 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.”

Having already enjoyed a look behind the scenes where she helped add the finishing touches needed to bring Whizbee to life, Elinor will also receive four VIP tickets to a session at the World Para Athletics Championships, a VIP tour of the London Stadium, a framed photo of the finished mascot and a Blue Peter orange competition badge. The two top runners-up will also each receive a VIP stadium tour and tickets to the championships as well as a framed picture of their designs and a Blue Peter orange competition badge.

British sprinter Whitehead, who last year broke his own T42 200m world record in the London Stadium, said: "Being part of the judging panel was a great experience. It was difficult to choose the winner from the thousands of youngsters who entered designs through Blue Peter but Whizbee and Hero illustrate exactly what we were looking for.

“They are 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.”