Skippy, inflatable kangaroo, an Australian softball fixture

Skippy gets a close-up view of the Olympics that fans don’t see

FUKUSHIMA, Japan – Skippy has a close-up view of the Olympics that fans don’t get to see.

A 3ft tall yellow inflatable kangaroo with green legs has been a staple at softball games in Australia. He has a seat in the dugout and even accompanied coach Laing Harrow, pitcher Kaia Parnaby and dropped the Jade Wall in the post-game press conference following Thursday’s 1-0 win over Italy.

“He loves to entertain, loves to come to games. Everywhere we go he seems to be a fan favorite with the locals and that makes them smile, ”Wall said. “We want to bring entertainment to the field, and he has the entertainment off the field for us.”

Skippy is clean and shiny. It is not the original from 2009.

“I guess that’s part of the house for us. It’s part of our coat of arms and it also makes us smile, ”Wall said. “It can be a pretty serious game, and you glance at Skip, and you go, OK, now you’ve put on a little smile and come back over there.”

Wall said Skippy enjoyed his time in Fukushima, with its woods and mountains in the background. The first two days of the softball tournament took place at a ball park about 150 miles north of Tokyo and will move to Yokohama, near the capital, on Saturday.

“He feels very comfortable here rather than in the city of Tokyo,” Wall said.

The Australian Commonwealth coat of arms has a shield with symbols of the nation’s six states supported by a kangaroo and an emu.

“Skippy the Bush Kangaroo” was an Australian television series aired from 1968 to 1970 about a young boy and his intelligent pet, and it was followed by the film “Skippy and The Intruders”.

“They are very special at home for us as Australians,” Wall said, “so to bring him on all of these trips I know he gets a buzz out of it. We love him.”


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