Skippy, inflatable kangaroo, an Australia softball fixture

Jul 21, 2021, 2:39 PM | Updated: Jul 22, 2021, 2:44 am

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Skippy is getting an up-close view of the Olympics that fans aren’t getting to see.

A 3-foot tall yellow inflatable kangaroo with green paws has been a fixture at Australia’s softball games. He has a seat in the dugout and even accompanied coach Laing Harrow, pitcher Kaia Parnaby and left fielder Jade Wall to the postgame news conference after Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Italy.

“He loves to entertain, loves coming to the games. Everywhere we go he seems to be a fan favorite with the locals and it puts a smile on their face,” Wall said. “We want to bring entertainment on the field, and he’s got the enterainment off the field for us.”

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

“I guess it’s a part of home for us. It’s a part of our coat of arms and it kind of puts a smile on our face, as well,” Wall said. “It can be quite a serious game, and you have a look at Skip, and you go, OK, now you’ve put a bit of a smile and get back out there.”

Wall said Skippy enjoyed his stay in Fukushima, with its woods and mountains in the background. The softball tournament’s first two days were at a ballpark about 150 miles north of Tokyo and will shift Saturday to Yokohama, near the capital.

“He feels quite at home here rather than the city of Tokyo,” Wall said.

Australia’s Commonweath Coat of Arms has a shield with symbols of the nation’s six states held up by a kangaroo and an emu.

“Skippy the Bush Kangaroo” was an Australian television series that aired from 1968-70 about a young boy and his brainy pet, and it was followed by the movie “Skippy and The Intruders.”

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

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Referee assistant Stephanie Frappart of France shows 7 minutes overtime during the World Cup group ...
Associated Press

Frappart to make World Cup history as first woman referee

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — French referee Stéphanie Frappart will become the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup game when she handles Germany vs. Costa Rica on Thursday in Qatar. FIFA also picked two women as assistants to Frappart — Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina — to complete […]
24 hours ago
Kraken Burakovsky...
Associated Press

Burakovsky’s OT goal gives Kraken wild 9-8 win over Kings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andre Burakovsky had two goals, including the winner in overtime, and the Seattle Kraken defeated the Los Angeles Kings 9-8 on Tuesday night in the highest-scoring NHL game this season. Burakovsky scored on a power play at 2:08 of the extra session to give Seattle the first six-game winning streak in […]
24 hours ago
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the first...
Associated Press

Ovechkin tops Gretzky for most road goals, Caps beat Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored twice, passing Wayne Gretzky for the most road goals in NHL history, and the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 on Tuesday night. Ovechkin has scored 403 of his 793 career goals away from home. Gretzky holds the overall record with 894. “It’s always nice when […]
24 hours ago
Associated Press

SIUE wins fifth straight game, beats St. Ambrose 89-54

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Terrance Thompson scored a career-high 15 points to lead SIU Edwardsville 89-54 on Tuesday night for its fifth straight win. Ray’Sean Taylor added 13 points, Lamar Wright 12 and Damarco Minor 10 for the Cougars (6-2). Amarey Wills scored 10 points to lead the Fighting Bees. ___ More AP college basketball: […]
24 hours ago
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, left, makes a move under the basket against Los Angeles...
Associated Press

Powell scores 32 as Clippers rally past Blazers 118-112

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Norman Powell scored 22 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Anfernee Simons and the Portland Trail Blazers 118-112 on Tuesday night. Reggie Jackson had 24 points and 12 assists, helping the Clippers to their second straight win. Ivica Zubac added 12 points and […]
24 hours ago
Associated Press

Morgan State defeats Virginia-Lynchburg 123-59

BALTIMORE (AP) — Malik Miller scored 26 points and Morgan State defeated Virginia University of Lynchburg on Tuesday night. Khalil Turner added 21 points and Isaiah Burke 20 for the Bears (3-5). Marcus Willis led the Dragons with 25 points. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Copyright © The Associated Press. […]
24 hours ago
Skippy, inflatable kangaroo, an Australia softball fixture