SA’s Olympic mascot unveiled

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IOL spt ST p5e2sec SaKidLaunch882 THE STAR Team SAs official mascot, Chikuru, at the Team South Africa kit launch held in Joburg. Pictures: Matthews Baloyi

His name is Chukuru. He’s an African rhino. He dances like a beast.

And he’s the new, official mascot for Team South Africa - just 113 days away from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

Chukuru made his debut last night in Newtown, Joburg, at the launch of the team’s new kit.

The athlete models – including Natalie du Toit, Oscar Pistorius and Kgotso Mokoena - looked suitably uncomfortable on a runway.

But, decked head to toe in green and yellow, they’re bound to feel at home on the track.

Perhaps a little too much - yellow for Mokoena, whose skin-tight outfit brought back memories of last year’s census and Statistician-General Pali Leh-ohla’s infamous yellow suit.

Banyana Banyana’s 1970s mustard-yellow kit was also a - disappointment.

But, it was just one of a dozen items designed for Team SA by Chinese manufacturing company Erke, including casual shirts, polo shirts, three-quarter pants, tracksuits, official takkies and rain gear for those drizzly London skies.

And here’s hoping they work, because Erke’s contract with the team extends to the 2016 Games.

And, while SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam conceded that when it came to fashion you can’t please everybody, he hoped the uniform would help the team “focus on what they’re there for - giving their all for their country and winning medals”.

“This team is yours, South Africa,” said Sam.

“Embrace them. Help make things happen for Team South Africa. And when we land back here with a bag full of medals, we can all pat ourselves on the back.”

The Star


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