Did you know that Karrie Webb is extremely patriotic? She is so much so that she went to special lengths to wear the boxing kangaroo on her cap at the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup this week.
Webb sought special permission from the Australian Olympic Committee to wear the symbol, but she is only allowed to wear the logo at this week’s international tournament, where she is representing Australia with Karen Lunn.
According to Wikipedia, the boxing kangaroo is a national personification of Australia, frequently seen in popular culture. The symbol is often displayed prominently by Australian spectators at sporting events, such as at cricket, tennis and football matches, and at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. A distinctive flag featuring the symbol has since been considered “Australia’s sporting flag”.
The idea of a boxing kangaroo originates from the animal’s defensive behaviour, in which it will use its smaller forelegs (its “arms”) to hold an attacker in place while using the claws on its larger hind legs to try to kick, slash or disembowel them. This stance gives the impression that the kangaroo appears to be “boxing” with its attacker.
In 1983 the boxing kangaroo received national and international prominence when it served as the symbol for the successful Australian challenge for the America’s Cup, where the boxing kangaroo flag, a red-gloved golden kangaroo on a green background, was flown from the yacht Australia II. Alan Bond (owner of the Australia II yacht) owned the image and licensed it for mass production. The image was later bought by the Australian Olympic Committee, and is used as a mascot to represent the Australian Olympic team and to promote sport and fair play in schools.