Mark, a 1996 gold medalist and 2000 silver medalist, wagered on Carlton to defeat St. Kilda in a recent game. After Carlton was defeated by four goals, the 48-year-old admitted to his lost wager on radio.
"Oh, I must've been intoxicated," he joked, according to The Telegraph. "Anyway, a lot of people would think a mankini might look better than the uniform they've nominated for us, so I don't know if it's such a bad thing."
Mark was referring to Australia's actual Opening Ceremony uniform, which features a heavy, green jacket and generally makes Team Australia look more like real estate agents rather than athletes.
Complicating matters is that Mark is a potential flag bearer for the Australian team. He'll be competing in his sixth Olympics and that honor is usually given to athletes with longevity or special circumstances. Of course, in this case, Mark may have both.
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The mankini was popularized in the 2006 film, "Borat," starring Sacha Baron Cohen as a clueless foreign visitor to the United States. A joke from a six-year-old movie -- particularly a movie that was quoted and referenced as heavily as "Borat" -- shouldn't still be funny, but if Mark shows up to Olympic Stadium dressed in the swimsuit above, it'll be the greatest Opening Ceremony moment since Leryn Franco.
A spokesman for Team Australia responded to Mark's "threats" with good humor.
"Age is the problem here. Russell is no spring chicken, his days of being a model are long gone, and we don't think it would be a good look for the team to have Russell in a mankini.
"Besides, this will be his sixth Olympics and he is a chance to be named as flag bearer. Imagine the flag bearer out in front of our team in a mankini. And a big, butch shooter at that.
"As we all know the London weather is fickle and we would not want him to catch cold."
I can't imagine the USOC would have such a light-hearted take on the situation if an American said he was showing up in a mankini. That's how you deal with a potential crisis: patience and wit. And if that fails, make sure someone brings a trenchcoat to London.
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