ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sydney Olympic Games. Gold stories...

Updated on April 15, 2014
Cathy Freeman at the important moment of lighting the Olympic Flame.  A story in itself...
Cathy Freeman at the important moment of lighting the Olympic Flame. A story in itself...
Me salivating at the fact I held an Olympic Torch
Me salivating at the fact I held an Olympic Torch

The winner is Sydney

Australia found out that we had won the bid to host the Summer Games of 2000 in September 1993. This was a huge coup for Australia at the time especially Sydney. The winning of the bid revitalised Sydney from the word go. Each time I visited Sydney from Queensland which was several times a year at the time the atmosphere was palpable. Seven years out signs were appearing that we were about to host the Olympic Games. Of course new buildings was being put up. But more importantly there was optimism in the air. People had more spring in their step. Work was being carried out to beautify the inner city. For instance park benches were being replaced with new ones. Street furniture and sculptures were being positioned in public spaces. This is in addition to the massive stadium projects that were under commission.

Cath Freeman minutes after the 400 metre Gold medal win
Cath Freeman minutes after the 400 metre Gold medal win


Even here in Queensland about 1000 miles from Sydney the atmosphere was different. At the time I was living on the Gold Coast and already athletes were upping the anti with their training in order to make and qualify for the Olympic trials.

Following Suzie O'Neill Success in the pool in Atlanta a number of promotional fundraising lunches & dinners were organised by SOCOG and Suzie's major sponsor the Westpac Bank. In April 1998 a lunch at the Southport Yacht Club with guest speaker Suzie O'Neill became quite memorable. Suzie O’Neill arrived unconventionally in the Westpac Rescue helicopter from Brisbane and was greeted with a rousing reception from the Yacht Club audience. You have to remember that this was prior to her Olympic gold’s success in the pool.

I was determined to meet her as I was and still am a huge fan of both her swimming prowess and Suzie's personal attributes.

Well I went shopping for a suitable gift for a Olympic gold medallist and woe and behold I was looking for something resembling a butterfly. Madame Butterfly was Suzie's nickname because of the success she has with the butterfly swimming stroke.

Well a friend John Calleja who had a prestige jewellery store suggested a brooch with a butterfly on it in gold. Well I knew that she was in a relationship with a man and me though that sort of present would be inappropriate in the circumstances. I was shopping in David Jones and came across a display table with glass objects on it. Well there it was a Waterford Crystal paperweight resembling a butterfly. So that was it! Considered sold.

Of course Suzie was wrapped with a gift from a stranger but she went on to win gold at the Sydney Olympics and the rest as they say is history...

Circular quay facing Sydney Cove & Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 2000 Olympics
Circular quay facing Sydney Cove & Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 2000 Olympics | Source
Circular quay facing Sydney Cove & Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 2000 Olympics
Circular quay facing Sydney Cove & Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 2000 Olympics | Source

According to Alan Hubberd of the UK Newspaper The Independent.

GOLD: Sydney

Of the 10 Olympics Games I have covered, Sydney in 2000 was simply the best, in every respect. The organisation, the ambience, the weather, the facilities, and above all the friendliness of the Aussies themselves. Every Olympic visitor was greeted with a cheery "G'day" and made to feel welcome by volunteers who were genuinely proud to be hosting a family show. Of course it helped that everyone spoke English but for sheer getting-it-togetherness Sydney surpassed any previous Games. It is one of the world's great sporting citadels and unlike in many other cities where the Games have been staged in half-empty stadia, their fans had a true appreciation of what they were watching, and if they did not always know the nuances of taekwondo, Greco-Roman wrestling or artistic gymnastics, what the heck, they cheered anyway. And the beach volleyball on Bondi was a sight to behold.

The Millennium Games were also a turning point in Olympic history, for none better represented the emancipation of women's sport and an ethnic race than the iconic performance of Aborigine Cathy Freeman in winning the 400 metres. It was a symbolic victory before a crowd of 102,254, the largest ever at a Games, marking her country's 100th gold medal. Britain went gold-prospecting, too, from the moment cyclist Jason Queally won on the opening day to modern pentathlete Steph Cook and super-heavyweight boxer Audley Harrison on the last, via the oar-some Steve Redgrave's epic fifth gold medal in successive Games. Eleven golds in all, Britain's best for more than half a century. Beijing, where government money seems no object, may put on a flashier, more expansive extravaganza but they will have to go some to beat Sydney's style.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • tecv.survivor17 profile image


      9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      As the grandson of the 10 time gold medal winner, Ray Ewry, I have been a dedicated follower, researcher and writer of the Olympics and I must say that the Sydney Games were the most beautifully produced Games I have seen. Jim McKay, of ABC Wide World of Sports and the best commentator with the Games, told me he felt the same. You might look for my book on Ray Ewry and his bout with Polio before going on to win 10 gold medals in the standing jumps from 1900 through 1908 (4 Olympics including 1906)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We attended Olympic events in Barcelona, Spain. Have written about our experiences there. Can only imagine the excitement and transformation that would take place in a city near where one lives!

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      The Happy memories will last my life time !

    • wesleycox profile image


      9 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

      I could only imagine the excitement of hosting an Olympic games in or near your hometown. This helped me visualize just that. Great story.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)