delivered a gold
the weight of
AS AUSTRALIA’S FLAGBEARER AT THE OLYMPIC
GAMES SYDNEY 2000, CATHY FREEMAN ETCHED
HER NAME INTO HISTORY WITH GOLD IN THE
WOMEN’S 400M, AND USED THOSE EXPERIENCES
TO SET UP HER OWN FOUNDATION PROMOTING
EDUCATION IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
My most vivid memory of the Olympic
Games was watching Australia’s Debbie
Flintoff-King win a gold medal in the
women’s 400m hurdles in Seoul in 1988.
After that, I was forever inspired.
I also remember being really excited
about moving into the Olympic Village
and sharing a “home away from home”
with so many athletes from all over the
world, when I made my Olympic debut
in Barcelona in 1992.
AT THE GAMES
The major distinction between the three
Olympic Games I competed in [in 1992,
1996 and 2000] was that as an athlete,
my confidence grew stronger with each
Games, and with each new four-year
‘I NOW HAVE A
cycle. Once the Olympic Games
Sydney 2000 came around, my
confidence was at an all-time high.
My home victory was especially
amazing, and it continues to be
challenging to find words to express
the emotions that I felt before,
throughout, and even now, 17 years
after Sydney. However, words that
spring to mind to describe my
experience are “intense”, “deeply
profound” and “magnificent”.
HOW THE GAMES
CHANGED MY LIFE
The Olympic Games enable human
potential and power to be realised
through either experience or storytelling,
and the impact is life-changing and
inspiring. Indeed, my life has changed in
ways I could never have expected – for
example, being referred to as an “icon”.
However, the great advantage of being
an Australian Olympic champion is that
I now have a platform I can use to drive
issues that I’m passionate about, such
as indigenous achievement.
LIFE AFTER SPORT
I’ve always been intrigued by human
potential and it’s that curiosity, along
with my mother’s guidance, that moved
me to co-found the Cathy Freeman
Foundation (CFF) in 2007.
CFF has a vision of an Australia
where indigenous and non-indigenous
children have the same education
standards and opportunities in life,
and provides indigenous students
OLYMPIC REVIEW 73