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Brisbane 2032 pineapple mascot runs rings around competition

Jeremy Pierce, August 18, 2021 6:30PM News Corp Australia Network

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Like generations of Aussie kids before them, Ella, aged 8 at the time, and Poppy, aged 5, visited the Big Pineapple during their September 2020 school holidays with their dad Sonny and mum Nicky. Now the Big Pineapple is celebrating its 50th birthday with an Olympic mascot bid for Brisbane 2032. Picture: Brad Fleet. media_cameraLike generations of Aussie kids before them, Ella, aged 8 at the time, and Poppy, aged 5, visited the Big Pineapple during their September 2020 school holidays with their dad Sonny and mum Nicky. Now the Big Pineapple is celebrating its 50th birthday with an Olympic mascot bid for Brisbane 2032. Picture: Brad Fleet.

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A Queensland icon has emerged as a cool contender* for the mascot of Brisbane’s Olympic Games.

While the pineapple fruit is famously a little rough around the edges, a sweet campaign is launching this week to push for the Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple to become the official mascot of the 2032 Games.

Decked in Aussie green and gold, Sunny the Pineapple would be much less weird than many Olympic mascots over the years, and could be the prickliest* customer to steal the limelight since Clyde the Thistle* took centre stage at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The push, to coincide with the Big Pineapple’s 50th birthday, will include the launch of an online petition and Instagram account.

In a personal pitch to Queenslanders, Sunny stared down the other early option – the ibis.

“I reckon I can run (Olympic) rings around a bin chicken any day of the week,” Sunny said tartly* in an open letter.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said it would be hard to find a more perfect fit for Queensland’s Olympic mascot than the charismatic* pineapple.

media_cameraVisit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said Sunny the Pineapple is the perfect mascot for Brisbane 2032.

“Sunny has all the credentials* for the job; after all, you just can’t get any more green and gold than a pineapple,” Stoeckel said.

“We are throwing our support behind Sunny the Pineapple to help him realise his lifelong dream of becoming the people’s mascot in 2032.”

The Sunshine Coast is scheduled to host Olympic and Paralympic outdoor events such as cycling, mountain biking, athletics, and sailing, as well as football and basketball.

Olympic legend and Sunshine Coast local Clint Robinson said Sunny would be the perfect brand ambassador for Queensland’s Olympics.

“It really does capture so many of those things that are quintessential* about Queensland,” Robinson said.

“The summery climate, the sweet taste, the green and gold colours – I think it’s perfect for Queensland’s Games.

“And so many Aussies would have good memories of visiting the Big Pineapple when they were kids, so I think there’d be a lot of affection for it.”

QLD_SM_NEWS_PINEAPPLEGAMES_14AUG21 media_cameraSunshine Coast local and Olympic champion Clint Robinson at the Big Pineapple. Picture: Lachie Millard.

Olympic mascots have been spectacularly hit-and-miss over the years, ranging from the native Aussie critters Olly, Syd, Millie and Lizzie in Sydney to the bizarre one-eyed steel rod Wenlock at London 2012.

Artwork - Sydney 2000 Olympic Games mascots - (l-r) Olly the kookaburra, Syd the platypus and Millie the Echidna. mascot /Olympic/Games/2000 media_cameraArtwork for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games mascots: Olly the kookaburra, Syd the platypus and Millie the Echidna were all popular mascots, but it is not always the case.

But they have often become stars in their own right.

Borobi, the surfing blue koala at the Gold Coast’s 2018 Commonwealth Games, was a runaway success with merchandise* like cuddly toys flying out the door.

Just how cuddly a Sunny the Pineapple toy would be remains to be seen – but a plush, tropical memento* of the Brisbane Olympics is a juicy possibility.

GLOSSARY

  • contender: candidate, competitor, nominee
  • prickliest: full of or covered in prickles
  • thistle: wild plant with pointy leaves and purple flowers, Scottish national emblem
  • tartly: like a tart flavour, a sharp, slightly sour tone, cutting
  • charismatic: charming, fascinating, popular
  • credentials: qualifications, experience
  • quintessential: perfect example of something, typical
  • merchandise: products for sale, in this case themed souvenirs
  • memento: object kept as a reminder of an event, souvenir

EXTRA READING

Meet mascots Miraitowa and Someity

Meet Borobi the Comm Games Mascot

How the Paralympics became a world sporting spectacular

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Where is the Big Pineapple?
  2. Which former Olympian is in favour of the Big Pineapple’s mascot bid?
  3. Which birthday is the Big Pineapple Celebrating?
  4. Which animals made up the three mascots of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games?
  5. What did London 2012 mascot Wentlock represent?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Stages of life
Pineapple versus bin chicken sounds like an interesting duel! Draw a comic strip or write a story or rhyme based on this concept. Try your best to make it funny and entertaining.

Time: allow 35 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

2. Extension
Borobi merchandise was popular at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Brainstorm a list of merchandise ideas featuring Sunny that could be sold as souvenirs at the 2032 Olympics. Choose your favourite idea and draw a detailed drawing of the front, side and top view of your product.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Design and Technologies

VCOP ACTIVITY
Imaginative dialogue
Imagine you were there during the event being discussed in the article, or for the interview.

Create a conversation between two characters from the article. (You may need to, or want to, include yourself as one of the characters). Don’t forget to try and use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.

Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you check carefully the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.

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