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10 Reasons Why The 2000 Sydney Olympics Are Still The Greatest Games In History

10 Reasons Why The 2000 Sydney Olympics Are Still The Greatest Games In History

We may be a little biased, but we’re just going to come out and say it: The 2000 Sydney Olympics were the best Games of all-time... BY FAR.



By Ryan Rosendale

Granted, the Tokyo Olympics were pretty good - but we think there's better.

We may be a little biased here at the SportBible Australia but we're just going to come out and say it; the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games were the best ever.

The 27th Olympiad and the second ever to take place in Australia, many moments have stood the test of time from Sydney so to back up our claim; here's 10 reasons why the 2000 Sydney Olympics are still the greatest to this day.

10. Australia's first Archery Gold Medal

In a sport largely dominated by the USA, Australia's Simon Fairweather shocked the world when he won the gold against a stacked field in the Individual Archery. It remains Australia's one and only gold in the sport.

Simon Fairweather upset the odds on home soil... in a pair of iconic speed dealers too.
Australian Olympic Committee

09. "The Miracle on Grass"

While baseball might not rank highly on Australia's sport radar, the race for gold is always a close one on the Olympic stage. The 2000 Olympics saw only the third time that a baseball tournament had been held during the Summer Olympics with Cuba and America battling it out in the gold medal match. The Americans were disadvantaged given no active players from Major League Baseball were available for the tournament but despite this, the US team made up largely of Minor League players and MLB outcasts would go onto win gold 4-0. The result marked the first time in history that Cuba hadn't won gold in baseball since it became a medal sport.

08. Opening Ceremony

Two words: Nikki Webster. Or maybe even: Strawberry Kisses. The then 13-year-old shot into the spotlight with her performance at the Opening Ceremony from ANZ Stadium. The four-and-a-half-hour spectacle also had prawns on bikes, Ernie Dingo presenting the "Awakening", John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John and basketball legend Andrew Gaze as Australia's flag bearer. It was an opening ceremony later described by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch as "the most beautiful ceremony the world has ever seen".

07. Jai Taurima's Long Jump Silver medal

Rocking speed dealer sunnies, a bead necklace, shoulder-length hair and known for a pack-a-day smoking habit - Jai Taurima will be remembered as one of the most Aussie Olympic medallists. The laid-back lad from Queensland managed to take home silver at the long jump on his final attempt, with a jump of 8.49m, then an Oceanic record. What made the feat even more memorable though were his comments in a pre-Games interview that will go down in the history books. When asked if his smoking habit gets in the way of his performance, Taurima replied simply, "Oh, long jump's a pretty easy event. You just run 50 metres and jump, basically. It's not that hard." The man instantly became an Aussie legend.

Jai Taurima.

06. Australia becomes inaugural Olympic Water Polo Gold Medallists

Making its debut at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the women's water polo final Australia take on America in the inaugural decider. Yvette Higgins became the hero when she slammed a powerful shot past three defenders to put Australia up 4-3 and claim the first gold medal in the sport's Olympic history.

05. Norway beats Team USA in women's soccer amidst a controversial finish

Team USA had long been the dominate force in women's soccer when they headed into the gold medal match against Norway. The underdogs took it right up to the long-standing powerhouses with the match heading into overtime to decide the winner. 2 minutes into extra time, midfielder Hege Riise sent a long pass into the penalty area where, after a header, the ball ricocheted off the arm of forward Dagny Mellgren before bouncing toward the goal. Many claimed the goal shouldn't have been awarded due to the potential of a hand ball but according to the referee the goal was good, and the end score had Norway ahead 3-2 with the ultimate underdogs winning gold on the grandest stage.

Team USA were heavy favourites against Norway.

04. The Hockeyroos dominate on their way to Gold

The Hockeyroos showed complete dominance throughout the Games and from the moment they won their first-round match against Great Britain, they never looked like losing. They cruised into the gold medal match undefeated and won the final over Argentina 3-1 to win the gold on home soil in what still stands as one of the country's most dominate performances on the Olympic stage.

What a team.

03. Eric Moussambani represents everything the Olympic spirit is about

Nicknamed Eric the Eel by the media, Equatorial Guinea's Eric Moussambani swam to fame in Sydney due to his extremely unlikely victory in the heats of the 100m freestyle. After both of his competitors were disqualified for false starts, the Olympic debutant swam the race solo. Having never seen an Olympic-sized swimming pool before, Moussambani swam the 100m in the unprecedentedly slow time of 1:52:72. It was the slowest time in Olympic history by far with Moussambani struggling to finish the race. His time was nowhere near quick enough to advance to the next round but in showing determination, effort and endurance, Moussambani set a new Equatorial Guinea record and created a moment long remembered in Olympics history.

02. Ian Thorpe wins five medals in the pool

A then 17-year-old Ian Thorpe rose to fame with a remarkable haul of five medals in Sydney. Heading into the Games with the weight of a country on his shoulders, Thorpe didn't buckle under the pressure but excelled. He claimed gold and broke his own world record in the 400m freestyle before swimming the anchor leg of the 4x100m relay to win his second consecutive gold. He claimed a silver medal for the 200m freestyle, along with a gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay making Thorpe one of the most decorated Australian athletes in Olympic history.


01. Cathy Freeman's legendary run

In what quickly became the most memorable Australian Olympic moment, Cathy Freeman ran into the hearts of Australians far and wide when she won gold in the 400m track final. Clocking in at 49.11 seconds, the run, beautifully called by Bruce McAvaney, instantly became one of the most rewatchable Australian sporting moments with the victory lap draped in both the Australian and Aboriginal flags just as memorable for anyone lucky enough to watch it live.

Cathy Freeman carved her name into the Olympic history books in front of packed Sydney crowd.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: olympics, Tokyo Olympics, Australia, top 10