Thistle man Clyde is Glasgow Commonwealth Games mascot

Mascot Clyde swooped down at the launch event

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A thistle man named Clyde has been unveiled as the official mascot of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The mascot, which has been named after the river which flows through the host city, was designed by Beth Gilmour, 12, from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.

She won a UK-wide competition, which attracted more than 4,000 entries.

Clyde was unveiled in a ceremony at BBC Scotland's Glasgow headquarters, after a special animated film, narrated by 2014 Games ambassador Billy Connolly.

Beth, who won four tickets to games opening ceremony as part of her prize, said: "I still can't believe that my entry is now the Glasgow 2014 mascot.

"It's amazing to see Clyde come to life and I'm so happy that my design and idea will now be seen by everyone across the world.

"To know that I have played a part in Glasgow 2014 is incredible and I hope everyone across Scotland and the Commonwealth love Clyde as much as I do."

'Scottish symbolism'

Games organiser, Glasgow 2014, said Beth's design was chosen "for its Scottish symbolism and Glaswegian charm and likeability".

The organisation said her entry "interpreted this much-loved symbol with a youthful energy - embodied by a cheeky facial expression - and strong, sporty thistle arms and legs".

Glasgow 2014 chair Lord Smith said: "The Glasgow 2014 mascot has been created for young people, and what better way to do that than through having a competition for those young people to design it.

Clyde mascot at launch Clyde was designed by 12-year-old Beth Gilmour from Cumbernauld

"It is important that young people are at the heart of the games - Beth's design captured the imagination and the spirit of not only the games, but also of Glasgow and Scotland.

"Clyde is the cheeky but friendly face of Glasgow 2014 and will take the Commonwealth Games message to the people of Scotland."

The judging panel and Glasgow 2014 thought the thistle "uniquely represents a symbol as much at home in the modern, urban heart of Scotland's largest city as it is in Scotland's remote, epic landscapes".

Games ambassador Billy Connolly, who narrated a special film premiered at the launch, said: "Clyde's a great wee thistle and it's a very, very good idea and a fantastic design by Beth.

"The thistle is the perfect choice and has a great history and meaning in Scotland, plus Clyde's got a smashing haircut that makes him very modern and gives him a lovely edge.

"The River Clyde is unbelievably special to the people of Glasgow. It's one of the sole reasons for Glasgow being here and I personally believe the thistle is a brilliant plant, it really is rather special."

'Instant hit'

The thistle design is a significant departure from all previous Commonwealth Games mascots.

It is the first time the official mascot has not been an animal, the trend having started with a bear called Keyano at the 1978 event in Edmonton, Canada.

Beth Gilmour with Clyde Beth Gilmour came up with the winning design

Glasgow 2014 ambassador Rebecca Adlington, Britain's most successful Olympic swimmer, said: "It was amazing to see the warmth and excitement generated towards Clyde from all the youngsters here today.

"He was an instant hit and his cheeky character was clear for all to see.

"He's already a star in my eyes and huge congratulations to Beth for creating such a fabulous mascot."

Clyde will now embark on a national tour of Scotland and play a major role in promotional events in the run up to the games.

Glaswegian swimmer Michael Jamieson, who won a silver medal at this year's London Olympics, added: "Clyde is great fun and the perfect mascot to spread the Glasgow 2014 message across Scotland, the UK and the Commonwealth.

"The games being in Glasgow will offer an amazing opportunity to showcase the city and Scotland.

"It's incredible to know that world-class athletes from across the Commonwealth will be coming to my home city in 2014 - being able to compete in front of a passionate home crowd at Tollcross will be something truly special."

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