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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sophisticated Sydney Boos Atlanta's 'Roos

SYDNEY -- The inflatable kangaroos that bounced through the Atlanta Games closing ceremony have made many Sydney folk hopping mad.

Some hailed Sydney's contribution to the finale as spectacular. But critics decried it as a corny symbol for Australia's most populous city, which takes pride in its culture and sophistication.

Sydney's presentation included giant nylon marsupials on bicycles, feathered teenagers dressed as cockatoo birds, teams of beach lifeguards, aboriginal musicians and a plastic representation of its futuristic opera house.

One Australian newspaper complained the seven-minute show was cliche-ridden and that the kangaroos "caused cringes of embarrassment around Australia."

"Some Australians consider themselves far too sophisticated to accept the weird marsupial as part of our national identity," said the Daily Telegraph.

The Sydney Morning Herald was more generous. "Australia may wince, but the world loves them," it said of the kangaroos.

"To be honest, I would have been pleased to give the rubber kangaroos the big miss," said New South Wales Premier Bob Carr, who is ultimately in charge of the 2000, or "Millenium," Games and wants something different.

"You can sell Australia without having kids dressed up as koalas or kangaroos," he said.