Exactly two years to the day to the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, a loveable, blue koala with a passion for surfing and adventure was revealed as the Games mascot.
Borobi – whose name is the indigenous Yugambeh language word for koala – made a spectacular entrance, descending from an air rescue helicopter onto the beach at Burleigh Heads on Queensland’s Gold Coast, to greet the expectant crowd.
Inspired by a drawing by Brisbane school teacher Merrilyn Krohn, the winner of the Gold Coast 2018 Mascot Design Competition, Borobi will play a key role in welcoming athletes from around the Commonwealth and bringing to life the true spirit of the Games.
Commonwealth Games Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe says Borobi has enormous appeal and is proving an instant hit.
“Borobi is a very special and unique koala whose personality embodies all the values of the Gold Coast and the Australian way of life,” he said.
“He is fun, approachable, determined, passionate and active. There is no doubt he will become an endearing personality of GC2018 and hugely popular with people of all ages.”
Borobi celebrates Australia’s heritage with indigenous markings on his paws representing the venues, spectators and the journeys that athletes from all over the Commonwealth will take to be at the Gold Coast Games.
It is the first time a koala has been chosen as the mascot of a major Australian multisport event with previous mascots including kangaroo Matilda at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games and Melbourne 2006’s Karak, a south-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Chairman Nigel Chamier AM, highlighted the important role Borobi will play over the coming two years: “Mascots have become iconic symbols of the Commonwealth Games, providing an emotional connection between athletes, spectators and the community.”
“As the Commonwealth gets to know Borobi and his life story over the coming two years, they will be carried along on his exciting journey. And through him they will discover the wonderful values of the Gold Coast and the Australian way of life.”
With exactly two years until athletes will march into Carrara Stadium for the opening of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Jon Doig, Chief Executive Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
“Borobi is an excellent mascot for Gold Coast 2018 and I am sure he will prove to be a very successful face of the Games. I hope he has as much fun and has as much of an impact on athletes, spectators and the public as Clyde did for Glasgow.
“We remember the excitement really building from this point prior to Glasgow and know the time will fly by quickly. With two years to go, Team Scotland preparations are well on track to deliver our best ever overseas Games in the Gold Coast, allowing the athletes to focus on what they need to do to make these Games memorable.”