Olympic mascots are the unexpected

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2000

G'day mates,

Remember Izzy? He was the odd sort of energy creature who could morph into all those Olympic icons in 1996. Cute, but nobody liked him or understood him.

So you've got to figure with the Olympics coming to Australia, we could look forward to something cuddly like a koala or familiar like a kangaroo. Everyone knows what they are. Say kangaroo and the first thing you think of is Australia.

What's the first thing you think of when you hear echidna or platypus? Uhhhhh......

For the next two weeks you'll hear plenty about them and the kookaburra, because they're the Olympic mascots, Millie, Syd and Olly. The platypus and echidna are monotremes, the only egg-laying mammals in the world. The echidna is also known as a spiny anteater, sporting a tongue up to seven inches long that it uses to slurp up termites and ants.

The platypus has the beak of a duck, the body of an otter and the tail of a beaver. The kookaburra eats small animals and snakes and makes a sound resembling a human laugh.

Organizers say they expect to sell a million of these things before the Games are over. And you think the athletes are the only ones on drugs.

Until tomorrow,


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