After we realised that people are flogging from the Sydney 2000 Olympics merch on Depop, because it’s now considered vintage, I had a sudden flashback to all the ridiculous shit I owned over the time the Summer Olympics came to town.
Sports fever definitely took a hold of Australia (even more than normal) for a beautiful 17 days at the start of the new millennium and brought with it a whole wave of merch to mark the occasion.
20 years later and yes I am quietly picking up the odd merch item here and there from op shops and other rogue places they’ve ended up – my favourites so far are two mugs bought for $2 a pop by a friend at an oppy, and an elaborate mascot pin I got at a vintage from for $30.
But what else was there? How far did the Olympiad Fever reach into our lives and spew out Sydney 2000-branded shit for us to buy mindlessly and then chuck in the back of the cupboard for years? Let us reminisce.
The first thing that comes to mind is the money boxes that you could buy from Westpac. My stepmum used to work there and I remember when she brought home a set, which were modelled on the iconic mascot trio, and I chose to have Olly (the kookaburra.)
The Sydney Olympics were definitely before the trend of adorning your car with things sticking up from the windows (yes I’m looking at all of you who had reindeer antlers and flags on your cars), but that doesn’t mean the family car was exempt from a bit of Olympiad flare.
People definitely threw too much money at themed licence plates, which now 100% collect dust in the back shed, or are still screwed onto the family car.
They exist, I’ve SEEN THEM.
You know what screams the worldwide sporting arena that thousands of athletes spend their blood, sweat, and tears trying to conquer? Matchbox cars.
Tiny motherfucking zoomie cars that kids throw around like they’re in an action film.
And boy, did Australia deliver with the Sydney 2000 merch.
Found my dream car though.
We all know that Barbie is always hot on the trend, so it’s no surprise she packed up her Malibu mansion and fucked off down under to live her Australiana truth.
Bitch, you look great.
It truly wouldn’t be a curated list on PEDESTRIAN.TV without some kind of fucked-up cursed content. So please enjoy these puppets that absolutely still live in the back of a heap of cupoboards across the country, I’m sure of it. I can feel it in my waters.
And nor would this list be complete without a nod to god-awful Dad style, especially those that wore a suit to work and would only be able to express their ~individualism~ through very loud ties.
Sydney 2000 was a perfect opportunity for Dads and suit-wearers across the country to update their tie wardrobe (my post office manager father included) and eye-watering pieces like these were created.
My workmate Lavender slid into my DMs the other day about all the insane amount of Sydney Olympics stuff her mother has hoarded for the last 20 years, including all of these collectible medallions.
Like…they’re just coins? That have absolutely no monetary value? Like they’re not even money? You can’t just go and spend them like those commemorative $1 coins we all got in primary school from the national mint – which I absolutely took and spent on lollies as soon as I could.
And finally, the pièce de résistance: whatever in blue hell this thing is.
Like, I’m sorry, but who the fuck thought this was a good idea.
WHO. DID. THIS.
And all of this shit that has been sitting in family home cupboards for 20 years now? I want it all.