Winter Olympics: Aussies defiant over Boxing Kangaroo flag
Published on Feb 7, 2014 4:50 PM
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia - Australian fans claimed a Sochi Olympics victory on Friday in their latest battle to keep the controversial Boxing Kangaroo flag flying.
The family of freestyle skier Dave Morris claimed officials at the Extreme Park had tried to prevent them from showing off the flag as they supported him as well as fellow Aussies, Britteny Cox, Taylah O'Neill and Nicole Parks in Thursday's moguls qualification.
"It's a rebel kangaroo," said Morris. "Supporters can have whatever they want, they're supporters so they can support the team however they want."
Morris insisted that he was unaware of any ban on the flag which had also caused a similar furore at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics when it flew proudly at the athletes village.
"This is the first I've heard of it, I'm totally unaware of it. Aussie flags, boxing kangaroo flags and my brother has this suit that's green and gold - it's disgraceful - he's got no hair but he's got the green and gold wig.
"They've got everything so you can't miss them in the crowd."
In Vancouver, the team had clashed with the International Olympic Committee who claimed the flag, which shows a yellow kangaroo with red boxing gloves, was a registered trademark which violated Games rules.
Australian chef de mission Ian Chesterman said on Friday the family had the full support of the team.
"They're sensational, we love the Morris family," he said. "I reckon the Boxing Kangaroo has been a bit of a superstar at the Games over the years, it is the symbol of our team.
"It flew with a bit of controversy in Vancouver at the Olympic village there (and) it's flying in our village."
The Boxing Kangaroo symbol came to prominence during the country's 1983 America's Cup yachting victory. The Australian Olympic Committee later bought the image from businessman Alan Bond, owner of winning yacht Australia II.