Sydney 2000 – Mascots Olly, Syd & Millie

Designer: Matthew Hatton


No, the mascot of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was neither a kangaroo nor a koala, as non-Australians would assume. Designer Matthew Hatton instead used three other species that were also endemic to Australia as inspiration for his mascots Olly, Millie and Syd. Olly is a bird, to be more precise: a laughing kookaburra. His singing sounds like laughter. Millie is an echidna, its yellow spines and stocky build are reminiscent of the hedgehog from the Old World, to whom the echidna is not biologically related. Syd, on the other hand, is a platypus and thus probably one of the most extraordinary animals in the world. The platypus unites body-characteristics of the beaver (physique, tail) and the duck (webs, beak), yet also shows skeletal parallels with reptiles. As a mammal, it suckles its young, but lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young. When the first white settlers in Australia sent the carcass of a platypus to the Old World in the 18th century, the experts could not believe their eyes – such a prehistoric animal could not even exist! It is no surprise that some wildlife biologists thought the emigrants were mocking them and had put together carcasses of different animals... SOCOG introduced the mascots Olly, Millie and Syd to the public in January 1997. The choice of these internationally little known Australian animal species proved to be absolutely right. They enjoyed great public popularity right from the start. The intention of the designer of the mascots was to create three funny, friendly and absolutely Australian characters. Their names are abbreviations of three core terms of these Games: Olly for Olympic Games, Millie for millennium, Syd for Sydney.


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