A bright blue koala that likes to surf has been unveiled as the official mascot for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Borobi takes his name from an indigenous word for koala and appears to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
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He likes to catch a wave, despite the obvious balance problems his over-sized head would pose.
And he arrived on a Gold Coast beach on Monday Tom Cruise-style, winched from a hovering chopper into the arms of surf lifesavers.
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Aussie surfing champion Mark Occhilupo was on Burleigh Heads beach to greet the mascot, who’ll be tasked with selling millions of dollars in games merchandise.
The koala is likely to feature on everything from t-shirts and hats to stubby holders and flags.
It’s two years to the day until the games opening ceremony will get underway and the Queensland government says preparations are well in hand.
The $320 million construction program for competition venues is on track and on budget, with all new and upgraded facilities set to be delivered within the next 12 months.
Borobi, whose hue is meant to reflect the colour of the ocean, was inspired by a drawing by Brisbane school teacher Merrilyn Krohn, who won the games’ mascot design competition.
“An idea came to mind as soon as I heard about the competition,” Ms Krohn said.
“I add drawings into my teaching. It’s part of connecting with the children and having a laugh with them.”
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation chairman Nigel Chamier said Borobi would help build an emotional connection between athletes, spectators and the community.
“Borobi joins two very memorable mascots from previous Commonwealth Games hosted in Australia, Matilda at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games and Melbourne 2006s Karak, a south-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo,” he said.
Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Borobi’s personality embodied all the values of the Gold Coast and the Australian way of life.
“He is fun, approachable, determined, passionate and active. There is no doubt he will become an endearing personality of (the games).”