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Syd is a reference to Sydney, Olly to Olympic and Millie to the new millennium.
The three mascots are a duck-billed platypus (Syd), a kookaburra (Olly) and an echidna or spiny anteater (Millie). They symbolise the water, air and earth respectively. Their colours correspond to those of the Games emblem, and all three are typical examples of Australian fauna.
The choice of mascots was based on a survey in Australia and other countries. Matthew Hatton's duck-billed platypus sketch got him selected for the mascots project. The objective of the project was also to avoid kangaroos or koalas, which is why two other less well known animals were chosen.
This was the first time there had been three official mascots. There had previously been couples, for example Hidy and Howdy for the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, or even a quartet: the four Snowlets or the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.
The kookaburra and the duck-billed platypus are two emblems of the Australian state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital.
Find out more about the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games on olympic.org