Sydney Olympic Games

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games - XXVII OlympiadOlympic Games - 2000 Sydney

Home favourite Cathy Freeman was the star of a spectacular opening ceremony which celebrated the Olympian ideal and Aussie culture.  She then became the first Aboriginal to win track gold - to the delight of a rapturous capacity crowd.

Britain's Steve Redgrave confirmed his place in the Olympic Hall of Fame with a fifth straight rowing gold medal in the coxless fours event - one of 11 British gold's in Sydney.

Maurice Greene cemented his reputation as the world's fastest man with victory in the 100m, while fellow American Michael Johnson became the first man to successfully defend the Olympic 400m crown.

American runner Marion Jones became the first woman to win five medals in athletics at one Olympics.  I wonder if her performances, like Ben Johnson years earlier, will be expunged from the records?

The swimming competition was dominated by 17-year-old Australian Ian Thorpe, who won broke his own world record to claim gold in the 400m freestyle.  He then went on to win another two gold and two silver medals.

However, the most prolific medal winner at Sydney was not Jones or Thorpe. He may not have grabbed many headlines, but gymnast Alexei Nemov took six medals back to Russia with him, equalling his Atlanta tally four years ago.

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Eric 'The Eel' Moussambani

Swimmer Eric 'The Eel' Moussambani became a worldwide personality.  Others, notably 'Eddie the Eagle', made a name for themselves by coming last.  But what few remember about Eric was that he actually won his 100m swimming heat.

What happened was that his two rivals were both disqualified for a false start, leaving Eric to finish the 100m course alone.  However, this was not straightforward, at one point the life guards considered jumping in to assist the struggling Eric.  It's safe to say that his time of 1:52 will never be exceeded by the winner of an Olympic Games 100m race.  For comparison, all the 200m finalists were inside Eric's time for the 100m.


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Olympic Games - 2000 Sydney

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