The Institute Times

Cathy Freeman wins Olympic gold and the heart of the nation

Cathy Freeman carrying the Aboriginal and Australian flags at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Courtesy of Fairfax Syndication.

Cathy Freeman captured the nation's heart when she won the gold medal in the 400 metre sprint at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. During her victory lap she carried both the Australian and Aboriginal flags — proudly bringing awareness of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the world.

She is also the first Aboriginal person to win gold in an individual event at the Olympic Games.

Cathy Freeman, born and raised in Queensland, became involved in athletics at a very young age and won her first gold medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games when just 16 years old.

Throughout her athletic career, Cathy received numerous awards including the Olympic Order for Sportswoman of the Year in 2001, and was named Australian of the Year in 1998.

Following her retirement in 2003, Cathy has continued to be an inspiration to all Australians, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She has been involved with a number of charities and community activities such as Cottage by the Sea — one of Australia’s oldest charities providing seaside respite care to children.

In 2006, she also participated in a television series Going Bush journeying from Broome to Arnhem land visiting Indigenous communities.

Cathy continues to inspire with her work as an ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.