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 that is a wombat with a lazy, cheerful expression and comically pronounced rump, and that usually appeared on The Dream broadcasts, sometimes as a life-size stuffed toy on Roy and HG's desk.
Fatso was a spoof of the official Olympic mascots Olly, Millie, and Syd, whom Roy & HG disparaged as "Olly, Millie and Dickhead". He was nicknamed "the battlers' prince" and proved to be more popular among Australian fans of the duo (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. During the Olympics, the Australian Olympic Committee attempted to ban athletes appearing with Fatso to stop him upstaging their official mascots. The ensuing 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.
In keeping with Fatso's role as a protest against the commercialisation of Olympic mascots, only two Fatsos were officially produced: one for use in the studio and the other for use in the athletes' village. At the end of the Olympics, one of the Fatsos was auctioned for the Olympic Aid charity, selling for A$80,450 to Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes. Fatso is currently housed in a glass box in Kerry Stokes' North Sydney office. A number of unofficial Fatso toys and memorabilia were sold by merchants without authorisation from the producers of The Dream. A statue of Fatso appeared as part of an official Olympic memorial outside the Sydney Olympic Stadium, commemorating the volunteers who worked during the Olympics. The Fatso statue was vandalised in late September 2010, then stolen sometime before 8 October 2010.
- Jim Parsons (26 September 2000). "'Fat-arsed' wombat mascot causes uproar in Australia". The Daily Cougar. Archived from the original on 8 May 2005. Retrieved 11 April 2006.
- "The Rise of Fatso - The Fat Arsed Sydney Olympics Wombat". Strategic Resources International. February 2001. Retrieved 11 April 2006. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Marr, Jim (8 December 2000). "Satire: Roy Slaven on the Rampage". Workers Online (81). Retrieved 30 June 2006. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Singer, Jill (30 March 2006). "Is John So still our bro?". Herald Sun Sunday. Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2006.
- "'Groin gags, anti-mascot fatso lift Aussie duo to cult". indiavarta.com. Reuters. 22 September 2000. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2007.
- Browne, Rachel (18 July 2004). "Roy, HG leave Fatso home". Sun Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2006. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Fatso the Wombat Online: THE Unofficial Fatso Fanclub, Pandora Archive, National Library of Australia, archived 2000-11-20
- Fatso the Wombat Online: THE Unofficial Fatso Fanclub Tee-Shirt order form, Pandora Archive, National Library of Australia, archived 2000-11-20
- "Fatso the Wombat goes wandering". The Daily Telegraph. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)