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Sydney Olympics: Three Times the MascotsAired September 4, 2000 - 2:54 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: History quiz for you: What was the mascot for the Atlanta Olympics back in '96? Exactly -- that forgettable blue, Smurf-looking thing called Izzy. Now the folks in Sydney are out with not one, but three mascots.
And CNN's John Raedler does the introductions.
JOHN RAEDLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Syd the platypus, one of the Sydney Olympics three mascots. The others are Millie the echidna and Olly the kookaburra: Australian animals from water, land and air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Syd is for Sydney, Millie is for millennium, and Olly is for Olympics.
RAEDLER: Others are not so knowledgeable about the mascots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One's an emu, isn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. It's a roo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One's a kangaroo?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Platypus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Platypus. Yeah, platypus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know the animals, but I don't know the name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know the name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yellow one?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The yellow one and the red one?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the white one.
RAEDLER: The platypus is an egg-laying mammal that breathes air but spends a lot of time under water, with its eyes closed, foraging for food with its super-sensitive bill. (on camera): The platypus is such an odd creature that when European explorers first sent specimens of it back to Europe, scientists there thought the explorers were playing a practical joke on them.
(voice-over): The echidna, also known as a spiny anteater, is another egg-laying mammal. It's unrelated to the porcupine, but like that animal, it has evolved to protect itself by growing spikes, as it demonstrated while a zoo keeper was showing it to us.
RAEDLER (on camera): How would you assess the success of the -- of the spike strategy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ow! Ow! At the moment, really successful. Ow!
RAEDLER (voice-over): And then there's the kookaburra, perhaps the most beloved bird in Australia because of its laugh.
RAEDLER (on camera): Do you know what a kookaburra is?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
RAEDLER: What is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a bird.
RAEDLER: And what sound does it make?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A kooky sound.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Come on, make a kooky sound.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coo. Coo. Coo. Coo.
RAEDLER (voice-over): Despite confusion over the multiple mascots, Syd the platypus, Millie the echidna and Olly the kookaburra have contributed to the sale of a quarter-of-a-billion U.S. dollars worth of Olympics' merchandise so far.
John Raedler, CNN, Sydney.
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