Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics

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In September 2000 the longest travel ever with the Olympic torch was completed. It ended in Sydney's impressive new Stadium Australia carried by Cathy Freeman, the host nation's athletics world champion in the 400 meters race - and a distinguished representative of the Australian aborigines who inhabited the continent for 50,000 years before the first Europeans arrived.

In competition with Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul and Manchester it was decided that the first Olympic Games in the new millennium was to be hosted by Sydney in New South Wales in Australia from 15 September - 1st October 2000. The decision was taken at the IOC Congress in 1994. The 24th Summer Olympic Games were in every way a brilliant success, well organized, with record participation and great sporting achievements.

At the closing ceremony of Sydney 2000 Juan Antonio Samaranch proclaimed that "this was the best games ever, they could not have been better." Nobody could say against him. The Olympics in Sydney was also Juan Antonio Samaranch's last as president of the IOC.

With approximately 11.000 participating athletes and approx. 300 Olympic events the Sydney olympics were the biggest ever. Despite this, the Australian organizers were able to locate the events in close proximity of Sydney. About half of all competitions took place around the Olympic Park and Stadium Australia, and almost all events took place within a distance of 10-15 km from Sydney's city center. As an example sailing competitions were held in the port area near the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the city's two major landmarks.

Two new sports, taekwondo and triathlon, was admitted to the Olympic program at the Olympics in Sydney, and in several other sports, the number of events expanded the number from the olympics in Atlanta.

At Penrith Lake 40 km west of Sydney the 38-year-old British rower Steve Redgrave won Olympic gold for the fifth consecutive time. At the same place German kayaker Birgit Fischer obtained two gold medals, reaching a total score of seven Olympic gold medals and three silver medals. Furthermore it was notable from the Sydney Olympics, that Jan Zelezny from the Czech Republic and Cuba's Felix Savon both won gold for the third consecutive time, respectively in javelin and boxing. And in the swimming competitions in the Sydney olympics Aquatic Centre an unprecedented number of both Olympic records and world records was reached by swimmers from Australia, USA and The Netherlands as the leading medalists.

The top athlete in the athletics competitions was USA's Marion Jones with three gold medals and two bronze medals. She was, however, several years later found guilty of doping during the Sydney Olympics and stripped of all medals and results.

As in the previous Olympic Games in Atlanta, the USA was best nation in Sydney 2000. This time the Americans won 37 gold medals, 24 silver, and 32 bronze medals. This was followed by Russia (32, 28, 29), China (28, 16, 15) and Australia (16, 25, 17).

Follow this link for a detailed and interactive medal standing for Sydney 2000.
The story about the Sydney Olympics 2000 is based on the official Olympic reports and the Olympian Database.
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