2000 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXVII Olympiad

Host city Sydney, Australia
Nations participating 199
Athletes participating 10,651
(6,582 men, 4,069 women)
Events 300 in 28 sports
Opening ceremony September 15, 2000
Closing ceremony October 1, 2000
Officially opened by Governor-General William Deane
Athlete's Oath Rechelle Hawkes
Judge's Oath Peter Kerr
Olympic Torch Cathy Freeman
Stadium Stadium Australia

The 2000 Summer Olympics or the Millennium Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were the Summer Olympic Games held in 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


[edit] Preliminary matches- from September 13

Although the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was not scheduled until September 15, the football competitions began with preliminary matches on September 13. Among the pre-ceremony fixtures, host nation Australia lost 1-0 to Italy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

[edit] Day 1 - September 15, the Opening Ceremony

The cover for the DVD of the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics showing fireworks in the background and the lighting of the Olympic Flame by Cathy Freeman (who subsequently won the 400 m title). Cathy Freeman is a major role model for Indigenous Australians

[edit] Highlights of Cultural Display

The opening ceremony began with a tribute to the Australian pastural heritage of the muster (or "roundup", in which the stockmen gather together the livestock from the vast areas of an Australian outback sheep or cattle station), symbolising the drawing together of people from across the world. This was introduced by a lone rider, Steve Jefferys, and his rearing Australian Stock Horse Ammo. At the cracking of Jefferys' stockwhip, a further 120 riders entered the Stadium, their stock horses performing intricate steps, including forming the five Olympic Rings, to the music by Bruce Rowland, based on the theme which he had previously composed for the 1982 film The Man From Snowy River.

The Australian National Anthem was sung, the first verse by Human Nature and the second by Julie Anthony.

The ceremony continued, showing many aspects of the land and its people:- the affinity of the mainly coastal-dwelling Australians with the sea that surrounds the "Island Continent", the indigenous occupation of the land, the coming of the First Fleet, the continued immigration from many nations and the rural industry on which the economy of the nation was built, including a display representing the harshness of rural life based on the paintings of Sir Sidney Nolan. Two memorable scenes were the representation of the "Heart" of the country by 200 Aboriginal women from Central Australia who danced up "the mighty spirit of God to protect the Games" <ref>according to Aunty Mavis</ref> and the overwhelmingly noisy representation of the construction industry by hundreds of tap-dancing teenagers.

Because the wife of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the IOC President, was seriously ill and not able to accompany her husband to the Olympics, former Australian Olympic Champion swimmer, Dawn Fraser, accompanied Samaranch during the Australian cultural display, explaining to him some of the more obscure cultural references.

[edit] Formal presentation

A record 199 nations entered the stadium, the only missing IOC member being Afghanistan (suspended due to the Taliban regime's prohibition against practicing any kind of sports). Most remarkable was the entering of North and South Korea as one team, using a specially designed unification flag: a white background flag with a blue map of the Korea peninsula; the two teams would compete separately, however. Four athletes from East Timor also marched in the parade of nations. Although the country-to-be had no National Olympic Committee then, they were allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag. The Governor-General, Sir William Deane, opened the games.

The Olympic Flag was carried around the arena by eight former Australian Olympic champions: Bill Roycroft, Murray Rose, Liane Tooth, Gillian Rolton, Marjorie Jackson, Lorraine Crapp, Michael Wenden and Nick Green. During the raising of the Olympics Flag, the Olympic Hymn was sung by the Millennium Choir of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

The opening ceremony concluded with the lighting of the Olympic Flame. Former Australian Olympic champion Herb Elliott brought the Olympic Flame into the stadium. Then, celebrating 100 years of women's participation in the Olympic Games, former Australian women Olympic champions: Betty Cuthbert and Raelene Boyle, Dawn Fraser, Shirley Strickland (later Shirley Strickland de la Hunty), Shane Gould and Debbie Flintoff-King brought the torch through the stadium, handing it over to Cathy Freeman, who lit the flame in the cauldron within a circle of fire. This was followed by a fireworks display.

[edit] Some significant participants

The young girl singer, who featured in the early part of the opening ceremony, was Nikki Webster. Other musical performers were Olivia Newton-John and John Farnham (who sang the duet "Dare to Dream" while walking among the athletes), Vanessa Amorosi (who sang "Heroes" while a huge cloth was lowered down to cover the athletes - with sporting images and the image of a white dove of peace then being displayed on the cloth) and Tina Arena (who sang "The Flame"). There was also a massed Millennium Marching Band of 2000 musicians - with 1000 Australian musicians, the remaining 1000 musicians being from other countries around the world. (the massed band was so large that six conductors were required for the segment).

The English-language announcer for the Opening Ceremony was Australian actor John Stanton, while the Channel 7 narrator for the Indigenous section of the display was actor Ernie Dingo.

[edit] Events

[edit] Day 2 - September 16

Image:2000 Olympics first medals.jpg
Gold medalist Nancy Johnson (centre) of the U.S., raises her hands with silver medalist Cho-Hyun Kang (left), of Korea, and bronze winner Jing Gao (right), of China, during the first medal ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games.

The first medals of the Games were awarded in the women's 10 metre air rifle competition, which was won by Nancy Johnson of the United States.

The Triathlon made its Olympic debut with the women's race. Set in the surroundings of the iconic Sydney Opera House, Australian-born Brigitte McMahon representing Switzerland swam, cycled and ran to the first gold medal in the sport, beating the favoured home athletes.

The first star of the Games was Ian Thorpe. The 17-year-old Australian first set a new world record in the 400 m freestyle final before competing in an exciting 4 x 100 m freestyle final. Swimming the last leg, Thorpe passed the leading Americans and arrived in a new world record time, two tenths of a second ahead of the Americans. In the same event for women, the Americans also broke the world record, finishing ahead of the Netherlands and Sweden.

Samaranch had to leave for home, as his wife was severely ill. Upon arrival, his wife had already died. Samaranch returned to Sydney four days later. The Olympic flag was flown at half-staff during the period as a sign of respect to Samaranch's wife.

[edit] Day 3 - September 17

Canadian Simon Whitfield sprinted away in the last 100 m of the men's triathlon, becoming the inaugural winner in the event.

On the cycling track, Robert Bartko beat fellow German Jens Lehmann in the individual pursuit, setting a new Olympic Record. Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel set a world record in the semi-finals the same event for women.

In the swimming pool, American Tom Dolan beat the world record in the 400 m medley, successfully defending the title he won in Atlanta four years prior. Dutchwoman Inge de Bruijn also clocked a new world record, beating her own time in the 100 m butterfly final to win by more than a second.

[edit] Day 4 - September 18

The main event for the Australians on the fourth day of the Games was the 200 m freestyle. Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband had broken the world record in the semi-finals, taking it from the new Australian hero Ian Thorpe, who came close to the world record in his semi-final heat. As the final race finished, Van den Hoogenband's time was exactly the same as in the semi-finals, finishing ahead of Thorpe by only half a second.

China won the gold medal in the men's team all-around gymnastics competition, after being the runner-up in the previous two Olympics. The other medals were taken by Ukraine and Russia, respectively.

Zijlaard-van Moorsel lived up to the expectations set by her world record in cycling in the semis by winning the gold medal.

[edit] Day 9 - September 23

By rowing in the winning coxless four, Steve Redgrave of Great Britain became a member of a select group who had won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics.

The swimming 4 x 100-metre medley relay of B.J. Bedford, Megan Quann (Jendrick), Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres became the first women's relay under 4-minutes, swimming 3:58 and setting a world record, claiming the gold medal for the United States.

[edit] Day 11 - September 25

Image:Sydney olympic stadium track and field.jpg
Track and field events at the Olympic stadium during the 2000 Olympics

Australian Cathy Freeman won the 400 metre final in front of a jubilant Sydney crowd at the Olympic Stadium, ahead of Lorraine Graham of Jamaica and Katharine Merry of Great Britain. Cathy Freeman's win made her the first competitor in Olympic Games history to light the Olympic Flame and then go on to win a Gold Medal.

[edit] Day 13 - September 28

The Canadian flag at athletes' village is lowered to half-staff as Canadian athletes pay tribute to former prime minister Pierre Trudeau after hearing of his passing in Montreal (Because of the time difference, it was September 29 in Sydney when Trudeau died).

[edit] Day 15 - September 30

Cameroon won a historic gold medal over Spain in the Men's Olympic Football Final at the Olympic Stadium. The game went to a penalty shootout.

[edit] Day 16 - October 1

Image:Olympic fireworks.jpg
Olympic colours on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Fair Use, NSW Board of Tourism

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch declared at the Closing Ceremony,

"I am proud and happy to proclaim that you have presented to the world the best Olympic Games ever."

Yvonne Kenny was the soprano who sang the Olympic Hymn at the Closing Ceremony. The ceremony featured performing artists such as Jimmy Barnes, Midnight Oil, Kylie Minogue, Slim Dusty, Christine Anu, Nikki Webster, John Paul Young, Melbourne-based singer Vanessa Amorosi and pop duo Savage Garden.

The Games were then handed over to the city of their birthplace, Athens, where they would again take place in 2004. The ceremony concluded with a huge fireworks display on Sydney Harbour.

[edit] Sports

See the medal winners, ordered by sport:

[edit] Medal count

These are the top medal-collecting nations for the 2000 Games. (Host country is highlighted)

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Image:Flag of the United States.svg United States 40243397
2 Image:Flag of Russia (bordered).svg Russia 32282888
3 Image:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China 28161559
4 Image:Flag of Australia.svg Australia 16251758
5 Image:Flag of Germany.svg Germany 13172656
6 Image:Flag of France.svg France 13141138
7 Image:Flag of Italy.svg Italy 1381334
8 Image:Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands 129425
9 Image:Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba 1111729
10 Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain 1110728

[edit] Participating nations

199 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated in the Sydney Games, two more than in 1996. In addition, there were four Timorese Individual Olympic Athletes at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Eritrea, Micronesia and Palau made their Olympic debut this year.

[edit] Media coverage

The games were covered by the following broadcasters:

Running up to the games, a lesser-known Australian comedy satire The Games was broadcast in Australia only. It featured a spoof of the issues and events that the top-level organisers and bureaucrats suffered in the lead up to the games.

NBC presented over 400+ hours on their main and sister stations, CNBC and MSNBC. The downside of the American coverage was that it was presented on tape delay rather than live due to the 15-hour time difference. The lone exception was the gold medal game in Men's Basketball, which featured the U.S. defeating France 85-75. The game was televised live in primetime on Saturday, September 30th(EDT), which was the afternoon of Sunday, October 1st in Australia. In their 2004 coverage, NBC and its sister networks presented live coverage throughout the morning and afternoon, while showing marquee events pre-taped in prime time.

A poignant part of the media coverage happened in the Canadian broadcast. On September 28, the CBC was airing the Olympics, when all of a sudden, the network's chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge, broke in and said:

"Hello from Toronto, I'm Peter Mansbridge. Sad news to report from Montreal...Pierre Elliott Trudeau, prime minister of Canada from 1968 to 1984 with one brief interruption in 1979, has passed away..."

People in Canada who wanted to see the Olympics between then and the closing ceremonies had to turn to TSN because the CBC was broadcasting news coverage related to the passing and state funeral of the former prime minister.

[edit] Organisation

Image:SOCOG org structure 1998.gif
SOCOG organisational structure circa 1998 - five groups and 33 divisions reporting to the CEO are organised primarily along functional lines with only a limited number of divisions (eg Interstate Football and Villages) anticipating a venue focussed design.
Image:SOCOG org structure 1999.gif
SOCOG organisational structure circa 1999 - functional divisions and precinct/venue streams are organised in a matrix structure linked to the Main Operations Centre (MOC). Some functions such as Project Management (in the Games Coordination group) continue to exist largely outside this matrix structure.
Image:National route.jpg
Torch relay  It should be possible to replace this fair use image with a freely licensed one. If you can, please do so as soon as is practical.

[edit] Bodies responsible for the Olympics

A number of quasi-government bodies were responsible for the construction, organisation and execution of the Sydney Games. These included:

  • SOCOG the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, primarily responsible for the staging of the Games
  • OCA the Olympic Coordination Authority, primarily responsible for construction and oversight
  • ORTA the Olympic Roads and Transport Authority
  • OSCC the Olympic Security Command Centre
  • OIC the Olympic Intelligence Centre
  • JTF Gold the Australian Defence Force Joint Taskforce Gold
  • SOBO the Sydney Olympic Broadcasting Organisation (nominally part of SOCOG)

These organisations worked closely together and with other bodies such as:

  • the International Olympic Committee (or IOC)
  • the Australian Olympic Committee (or AOC)
  • the other 197 National Olympic Committees (or NOCs)
  • the 33 International Sporting Federations (or IFs)
  • all three levels of Australian government (federal, state and local)
  • dozens of official sponsor and hundreds of official supplier companies

These bodies are often collectively referred to as the "Olympic Family".

[edit] Organisation of the Paralympics

Organisation of the 2000 Summer Paralympics was the responsibility of SPOC the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee. However much of the planning and operation of the Paralympic Games was outsourced to SOCOG such that most operational programmes planned both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

[edit] Other Olympic events

Organisation of the Olympic Games included not only the actual sporting events but also the management (and sometimes construction) of the sporting venues and surrounding precincts, the organisation of the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival and Olympic torch relay. The route the relay took is shown here:

[edit] Phases of the Olympic project

The staging of the Olympics were treated as a project on a vast scale, with the project broken into several broad phases:

  • 1993 to 1996 – positioning
  • 1997 – going operational
  • 1998 – procurement/venuisation
  • 1999 – testing/refinement
  • 2000 - implementation
  • 2001 - post implementation and wind-down

[edit] SOCOG organisational design

The internal organisation of SOCOG evolved over the phases of the project and changed, sometimes radically, several times.

In late 1998 the design was principally functional. The top two tiers below the CEO consisted of five groups (managed by Group General Managers and the Deputy CEO) and twenty divisions (managed by divisional General Managers), which in turn were further broken up into programmes and sub programmes or projects.

In 1999 functional areas (FAs) broke up into geographic precinct and venue teams (managed by Precinct Managers and Venue Managers) with functional area staff reporting to both the FA manager and the venue manager. Ie, SOCOG moved to a matrix structure. The Interstate Football division extant in 1998 was the first of these geographically based venue teams.

[edit] Volunteer program

The origins of the volunteer program for Sydney 2000 dates back to the bid, as early as 1992.

On December 17 1992, a group of Sydney citizens, interested in the prospect of hosting the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, gathered for a meeting at Sports House, at Wentworth Park in Sydney.

In the period leading up to 1999, after Sydney had won the bid, the small group of volunteers grew from approximately 42 to around 500. These volunteers became known as Pioneer Volunteers. The Pioneer Volunteer program was managed internally by SOCOG's Volunteer Services Department. Some of the Pioneer Volunteers still meet every four months, an unseen legacy of the games which brought together a community spirit not seen before.

[edit] Mascots

The official mascots chosen for the 2000 Summer Olympics were:

  • "Olly" the Kookaburra — 'Olly' was named for 'Olympics'
  • "Syd" the Platypus — 'Syd' was named for 'Sydney', the host city for the Games.
  • "Millie" the Echidna — 'Millie' was named for 'Millennium'

There was also an unofficial mascot. For information, see The Dream with Roy and HG.

[edit] The Bronze Medals

Until the end of 1991 [1], Australia minted both a:

In 1992, these Australian coins began to be removed from circulation. People were urged to exchange them for coins still in circulation.

Both the 1 cent coins and 2 cent coins were then melted down and turned into bronze medals for the 2000 Olympics.

[edit] Award

  • The International Olympic Committee awarded Sydney and its inhabitants with the "Pierre de Coubertin Trophy" in recognition of the collaboration and happiness shown by the people of Sydney during the event to all the athletes and visitors around the world.

[edit] Bidding process

Sydney won the right to host the games on September 23, 1993 after being selected over Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul and Manchester, by the final vote, in an election in Monte Carlo.

2000 Summer Olympics bidding results
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
SydneyImage:Flag of Australia.svg Australia 30303745
BeijingImage:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China 32374043
ManchesterImage:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain 111311-
BerlinImage:Flag of Germany.svg Germany 99--
IstanbulImage:Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey 7---

[edit] Trivia

  • 2000 is both the year of these Olympics and the postcode of its city.
  • The Olympic Torch "cauldron" was meant to be raised above Cathy Freeman and rise diagonally up a track to its position at the top of the Stadium. However, when the torch rose from its resting place, it got stuck at the point where it would start to travel up the tracks. It jammed for almost two minutes, prompting a major panic inside the control rooms for the ceremony. However, it began to move. The cauldron was built so that it would jut out over a track, rather than all of its weight be distributed evenly (when it started up again, a wobble was evident). This may have caused it to briefly get stuck.

[edit] Fictional reference

The James Bond character in the film Die Another Day, Miranda Frost, won a gold medal in fencing. It was referred to by Madonna's character Verity, who told Bond that she won the gold in Sydney.

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] External links

Olympic Games}"> |
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SportsMedal countsNOCs
Summer Games: 1896, 1900, 1904, 19061, 1908, 1912, (1916)2, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940)2, (1944)2, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024
Winter Games: 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940)2, (1944)2, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022
Athens 2004Turin 2006Beijing 2008Vancouver 2010London 2012
bs:XXVII. Olimpijske igre - Sydney 2000.

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2000 Summer Olympics

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