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Friday, 15 September 2023

On this day 23 years ago, Cathy Freeman emerged in her iconic fireproof bodysuit to light a flame, marking the start of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Today, a stand in that stadium has been named after the trail-blazing Indigenous runner.

Ten nights after the then-27-year-old opened the games, she became the first Aboriginal athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal for Australia.

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Greay news, thanks so much to @TorchbearerSydney for highlighting today’s unveiling of the home straight eastern grandstand at Stadium Australia as the Cathy Freeman Stand.

As an older Aboriginal man, I join with other Australians in congratulating Cathy on her achievements and to celebrate this one.  Cathy’s Gold Medal Race literally stopped the whole country and we all rejoiced when she crossed the finish line in one of the greatest moments in Australian Olympic history.

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As an older Aboriginal man, I join with other Australians in congratulating Cathy on her achievements and to celebrate this one.  Cathy’s Gold Medal Race literally stopped the whole country and we all rejoiced when she crossed the finish line in one of the greatest moments in Australian Olympic hist

If I live that long, and health willing, I look forward to going to Brisbane in 2032 and seeing another Aussie triumph, maybe even in the new rebuilt Gabba Olympic Stadium, just like Cathy did 23 years ago.

 

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Fruday, 15 September 2023

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The proud Kuku Yalanji and Birri Gubba woman said she was almost speechless.

"I did not see this day coming," Freeman said.

"I was a barefoot kid running around dreaming of big things.

"This isn't just about me, this is about my family, the community I belong to, and the ancestral lines that go back so long and are so deep and rich."

Veteran Olympics broadcaster Bruce McAvaney said he thought "everybody in Australia is going to be smiling today".

The Minns government asked members of the public to nominate a female sporting hero deserving of a grandstand named in her honour.

"Cathy showed millions of kids what it means to smash the world and inspire the next generation," NSW Premier Chris Minns said.

"No matter the pressure, no matter the expectations from everyone in Australia nothing, nothing was going to get in the way of Cathy claiming gold for her country."

It is the first major grandstand to be named after a female athlete in NSW.

The stadium has a history of hosting historic female sporting events.

It's where Freeman recently watched the Matildas put on a nation-stopping performance at the Women's World Cup.

Credit: ABC News Australia

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Friday, 15 September 2000 - 23 Years Ago

AWAKENING

2,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers

Ernie Dingo: “This will get your heart pumping”

The incredible Awakening segment was performed for the world at Stadium Australia on this night 23 years ago during the Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony.

How the Sydney Olympics amplified First Nations voices on and off the track

Rhoda Roberts, Creative Director of Awakening at Sydney 2000

Roberts most publicised work was as the Creative Director for the ‘Awakening’ segment of the Opening Ceremony. She began work on the ceremony three years prior to the games, after being approached by producer and director Ric Birch who was an admirer of her work on the ‘Festival of the Dreaming’.

“It was a time when many of our communities were at a point of despair and were all thinking of protest due to the terrible situation in our country. It was the time of the release of a national report ‘Bringing them Home’, regarding the Stolen Generation – the community would always remember and lament all the children who would never be returned home.”

“Meeting after meeting I suggested our involvement should be from our culture and from our perspective, this could empower our youth and show the world we are still the oldest thriving culture and how we host visitors to our unceded territories. And once they embraced this, they would want to know our story, our truth and how Australia still perpetuated racism.”

Alone, Roberts travelled across the country and began conversations with communities from the Kimberly, Cape York, Torres Strait Islands and Arnhem Land in search of a song that emphasised and connected all First Nations people. After much talk and research, Roberts came across a flag song that was the key ingredient for the ‘Awakening’, as all nations have flag songs from their connection with visitors to this land over centuries and long before Cook.

“I sat on a beach in Numbulwar and talked with old man the late Mr D Nundhirribala and he sang the flag song Dhumbala. It was so ancient and raw. This signified the first time all our clans and nations had danced to the one rhythm. Stephen Page from Banagarra came on to choreograph and the late David Page did all the music for the 11 minute slot.” 

Over two thousand Indigenous performers were involved.

Accompanied by Worrora mang, Donny Woolagoodja who designed the Wandjina, Roberts traveled to Arnhem Land to meet the lore men and women involved in the ceremony from the Top  End. Roberts describes the moment Woolagoodja presented her with the images of Namarali as an incredible teaching in humility. Of his artistry she says, “he is a man who carries his inherited birthright and obligations like an ambassador and in service of his people.

The generosity of our cultural men and women was extraordinary”.

From: Sydney Opera House.com

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I’m really looking forward to a packed new Gabba Olympic Stadium, Australia and the world witnessing a similar cultural welcome and a spectacular celebration of all our First Nations peoples.

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On this day in 2001 (five days after 9/11) Australia's second largest airline (and official airline of the 2000 Olympic Games) collapsed and left a massive hole in Australia's aviation industry that would slowly be filled by Virgin Australia and Jetstar over the following decade. 

It still surprises me that Ansett - a Melbourne based and oriented airline - won the sponsorship deal over Sydney-based Qantas (who I have no doubt will be the airline of 2032 - if they have the money to spend by then.. it could be the Emirates Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games).

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30 years ago ….

 

When Sydney were big winners in Monte Carlo

Thirty years ago this week, Sydney was chosen as host city for the Olympic Games in 2000, the last Australian city before Brisbane to be selected to stage the biggest sporting event in the world.

Yet the whole election race in 1993 was very different to the "coronation" of Brisbane as hosts for 2032, announced two years ago in Tokyo.

 

In the early 1990s, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members were permitted to make extended visits to candidate cities.

Hospitality offered during visits was said to be lavish in the days before the revelations of the largesse offered by Salt Lake City in its bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics, prompted a ban on visits to prospective cities by all but official IOC Evaluation Commissions.

continued at:   When Sydney were big winners in Monte Carlo - Fri 22 Sep 2023

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On 9/16/2023 at 11:19 PM, Australian Kiwi said:

On this day in 2001 (five days after 9/11) Australia's second largest airline (and official airline of the 2000 Olympic Games) collapsed and left a massive hole in Australia's aviation industry that would slowly be filled by Virgin Australia and Jetstar over the following decade. 

It still surprises me that Ansett - a Melbourne based and oriented airline - won the sponsorship deal over Sydney-based Qantas (who I have no doubt will be the airline of 2032 - if they have the money to spend by then.. it could be the Emirates Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games).   

More money offered in the Ansett sposnsorehip deal I suspect.

I think for the 2032 Games, Qantas can be expected to bid again to be the official airline.

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8 hours ago, AustralianFan said:

More money offered in the Ansett sposnsorehip deal I suspect.

I think for the 2032 Games, Qantas can be expected to bid again to be the official airline.

If they have the cash. 

In recent decades we've seen flag carriers be upstaged by foreign airlines (especially Gulf carriers) for major events...

  • Team New Zealand in the America's Cup - Emirates not Air New Zealand
  • Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - Emirates not British Airways
  • Australia-New Zealand 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup - Qatar Airways.

Could very well see Emirates outbid Qantas for 2032. Or a vengeful Qatar Airways. 

 

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