Iconic Commonwealth Games mascot Matilda was "chemically enhanced" during the Brisbane 1982 opening ceremony, according to legendary producer Ric Birch.
Matilda, the 12-metre-tall kangaroo mascot, was the star turn in Birch's critically acclaimed Brisbane opening.
Matilda was built around a forklift and driven around Brisbane's QEII stadium and was famously captured winking at the Duke of Edinburgh.
"The chap who was in charge of Matilda's eye movements was chemically enhanced on the day," Birch said.
"He'd had a small smoke before he went out which I only found out later on. He was very relaxed about the winking business.
"He sat up in Matilda's head … working the eyes and the rotation."
The Duke of Edinburgh opened the 1982 Commonwealth Games in the absence of Queen Elizabeth II, who arrived later in the event.
"The serendipitous part about it [Matilda's wink] was the perfect timing as she sort of swung her head around and winked at the Duke," Birch said.
"Steve Wood, who was the television director at the time, just managed to catch the moment perfectly."
The Brisbane ceremonies propelled Birch, a former ABC TV producer, into a career which includes producing Olympic ceremonies in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro.
Flag-bearer Lisa Curry was 'completely hungover'
Swimmer Lisa Curry, who carried the Australian flag at the closing ceremony after winning three gold medals during the Brisbane Games, was also forthright in her recollections.
"I carried the flag in the closing ceremony with no sleep, completely hungover, and if you look at photos I think my mascara is still, like, falling down my face," she said.
"The adrenalin of carrying that flag is still one of the best things you can ever do."
Sprinting legend Raelene Boyle retired after famously winning the 400 metres at the 1982 Commonwealth Games after withdrawing from the Moscow Olympics two years earlier.
"I was seen, I think, as an example to the up and coming kids. We didn't want to finish my career that way by withdrawing from a team," Boyle said.
"I think winning like that [in Brisbane] gave me the ability to move on."
Marathon runner Robert De Castella, who won the first of his two Commonwealth Games gold medals in 1982, remembered the huge crowds lining Coronation Drive during the final stages of his come from behind victory over Tanzanian Juma Ikanga.
"Every now and then I'd lose sight of the lead vehicle, or lose sight of Juma Ikanga, because the crowd would just close in front of me," he recalled.
"I felt like Moses, I was running headlong into this crowd and they would just part."
Quentin Hull's feature on the 1982 Commonwealth Games will air on This Sporting Moment nationally on ABC Radio to open Sunday's edition of Grandstand.