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Borobi the surfing koala unveiled as 2018 Commonwealth Games official mascot

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Borobi, who takes his name from an Indigenous term for koala, introduced as an endearing personality who will become hugely popular with people of all ages

A bright blue surfing koala said to represent the values of the Gold Coast has been unveiled as the official mascot for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Borobi a loveable koala with fur the colour of the ocean and a passion for surfing and adventure is the winning design of a public competition to find the official personality of the games.

He induced his public debut on Burleigh Heads on Monday, winched from a hovering chopper into the arms of surf lifesavers. Australian Associated Press reported that the arrival was Tom Cruise-style, but on his official Twitter account Borobi likened it more to James Bond.

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Borobi is winched down to the beach James Bond-style. Photograph: Matt Roberts/ Getty Images

Borobi (@ borobi2 018) April 3, 2016

I feel so James Bond arriving by helicopter! The names Borobi, Just Borobi. #BOROBI #GC2018 #00Borobi

Australian surfing champion Mark Occhilupo was on hand to interact with the cheerful, turquoise marsupial, depicted in press imagery giving two thumbs up.

Borobi was inspired by a draw by Brisbane schoolteacher Merrilyn Krohn, who said the competition was something I believed I could have a go at.

An idea came to mind as soon as I heard about the competition, Krohn said.

Her vision for Borobi was refined by professional designers and animation specialists.

Commonwealth Game pastor Stirling Hinchliffe was effusive about the finished product, describing the board shorts-wearing blue-and-yellow koala as an instant hit with enormous appeal.

Borobi is a very special and unique koala whose personality exemplifies all the values of the Gold Coast and the Australian way of life … There is no doubt he will become an endearing personality of GC2018 and staggeringly popular with people of all ages.

Among Borobis traits, as articulated by the minister, are that he is fun, approachable, decided, passionate and active. He is also sun-smart, with visible stripes of zinc on his nose and cheek, and brand-aware, wearing a singlet bearing the official logo of the Commonwealth Games.

Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi

Borobi takes his name from an Indigenous word for koala. It was unfortunately misspelt by the Commonwealth Games in its official welcome of the koala on Twitter.

Somewhat astonishingly, it is the first time the marsupial has been chosen as the mascot of a major Australian multisport event. Borobi had tough competition for the title, with the minister pointing out that a large number of koala mascots were submitted in the competition( more than any other animal ).

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation chairman Nigel Chamier said the Commonwealth would get to know Borobi and his life story over the coming two years.

And through him they will discover the wonderful values of the Gold coast and the Australian way of life.

Whether Borobi is embraced by the wider Australian public remains to be seen.

Itll have to go a long way to match potential impacts of a giant winking kangaroo named Matilda, reported the Courier Mail when the hunt for a mascot began in June last year, referring to the 13 m-tall face of the 1982 Commonwealth Game in Brisbane.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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