Now that Australia has been selected for the third time in history to host the Olympic Games, important planning issues are underway.
Preparation for an Olympic event takes years and the efforts of thousands of people to get right. Of course, there is always the big question of what the Olympic mascot should be for that year and Queenslanders have some thoughts on that.
Enter the humble bin chicken.
Queensland Tourism minister Sterling Hinchcliffe has told the ABC that he’s “got a quiet soft touch for the idea that the ibis might play a role”.
“And I know there’s plenty of Queenslanders who think that might be appropriate as well,” he said.
While Australia is home to many iconic national animals, none strikes a chord in the hearts of Aussies like the bin chicken AKA the Australian white ibis. In fact, calls to make the bin chicken the mascot for the games have been made since the Olympic selection for 2032 was first announced.
— Arthur Chrenkoff (@TheDailyChrenk) July 21, 2021
Not everyone is convinced, however, with Queensland Tourism Industry Council Deputy Chair Cameron Costello saying he believes the koala should be the mascot, given the famous native was declared endangered in February.
“We’re at a really critical point in time,” he said. “In 2032 and prior to that, the eyes of the world are going to be upon us. It’s an opportunity for us to look at how we can use the momentum of the Olympics to actually get our endangered species back to the right place they should be.”
Costello argued that a koala fitting of the national narrative might make a good option.
“A koala that is First Nations, a scientist and female, that has a 10-year journey we can all follow,” he said.
In Support of the Bin Chicken
The bin chicken is actually a native Australian bird — not a foreign import originating from Egypt, as some would have it — and has made its home amongst the refuse and detritus of Australian cities up and down the east coast of the country. Many Aussies know this and have been behind the bird since day one.
When the city celebrated its Olympic selection, with fireworks going off across Brisbane, social media lit up with demands for the bird to become our mascot for the games.
Speaking to The Latch, Brisbane native David Joseph said the choice of the bin chicken is “epic and I support it.”
“Bin Chicken 4 Bris-Vegas,” he said.
— Julia Kite-Laidlaw (@juliakite) July 21, 2021
— DTelf (@DTelf) July 21, 2021
— Penny Dahl (@Pennycopter) July 21, 2021
Can't wait for our mascot – the bin chicken.
— Sallycat (@Sallycat) July 21, 2021
The much-maligned bird is actually a great choice for the Olympic mascot. While Threskiornis molucca spends most of its time rummaging through bins in metropolitan areas, causing havoc for urban cleaners and hospitality venues, it’s actually a symbol of defiance and adaptability.
The white ibis slowly became a common sight in Australian cities from the 1980s as their wetland homes dried up due to climate change. They moved in huge numbers to more habitable terrain, finding themselves adept at scraping a living on human refuse.
wild they’ve chosen the Brisbane 2032 mascot already pic.twitter.com/V7vmZXDBsj
— Matt Dennien (@mattdennien) February 24, 2021
Theirs is a story of tragedy, hope, and determination in the face of adversity. Australians have warmed to them in a somewhat ironic fashion for their bizarre looks and their tenacity to survive in the face of change.
The bin chicken is a modern-day hero and we think nothing could symbolise the plucky determinism of Australia like this bin juice soaked bird. All hail the king of the bins.