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Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat

Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat was an unofficial mascot of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics created by Sydney cartoonist Paul Newell with Roy and HG from the Australian Channel Seven sports/comedy television program The Dream with Roy and HG, which covered the event. He took the form of a life-size stuffed toy wombat with a lazy, cheerful expression and comically pronounced rump, and usually appeared on The Dream broadcasts on Roy and HG's desk.

Fatso was a spoof of the official Olympic mascots Syd, Ollie and Millie, whom Roy & HG disparaged as "Syd, Ollie and Dickhead". He was nicknamed "the battlers' prince" and proved to be more popular among Australian fans (and some visitors who viewed the program) than the official mascots. Fatso appeared with Gold Medalists Susie O'Neill, Grant Hackett and the Australian men's 4×200 metre relay team on the winners' dais. He consequently appears on an official commemorative postage stamp of the Australian men's 4×200 metre relay team in the arms of Michael Klim (second from the right). During the Olympics the Australian Olympic Committee attempted to ban athletes appearing with Fatso to stop him upstaging their official mascots. The impending public relations disaster forced the president of the AOC, John Coates, and the director general of the IOC, Francois Carrard, to distance their organisations from these attempts.

At the end of the Olympics, Fatso was auctioned for the Olympic Aid charity, selling for AU$80,450 to Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes. Fatso is currently housed in a glass box in Kerry Stokes's North Sydney office.

In keeping with Fatso's role as a protest against the commercialization of Olympic mascots, only two Fatsos were officially produced: one for use in the studio and the other for use in the athletes' village. A number of unofficial Fatso toys and memorabilia were sold by merchants without authorization from the producers of The Dream. A statue of Fatso appears as part of an official Olympic memorial outside the Sydney Olympic Stadium.


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