00.00.0000 00:00
logotype of site


logotype of site

Sydney 2000

  • Date 15 SEP - 01 OCT
  • Country AUSTRALIA
  • Athletes 10651
  • Countries 199
  • Events 380

Triathlon and taekwondo were two new additions to the Olympic programme. Susanthika Jayasinghe became the first Sri Lankan woman to win a medal, claiming bronze in the 200m, whilst Birgit Fischer earned two gold medals in kayaking to become the first woman in any sport to win medals 20 years apart. Women also took part in weightlifting and the modern pentathlon for the very first time.

There were some wonderful comebacks in Sydney but none more so than the US softball team. After losing three games in a row, they regrouped and won gold in stirring fashion by beating each of the teams they had previously lost to.

Ryoko Tamura had lost in the judo 48kg final in both Barcelona and Atlanta, but came back to win the gold medal in Sydney. Steven Redgrave gained sporting immortality by becoming the first rower to win gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games. In the 400m freestyle, 17-year old Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe won gold by breaking his own world record in front of a jubilant home crowd.

Cathy Freeman, the Australian athlete, had the honour of lighting the Olympic torch at the Opening Ceremony. This emotional moment helped symbolise the desire to reconcile with the Aboriginal populations of Australia. Ten days later, she won the 400m final before an ecstatic crowd.

NOCs: 199 (+ four individual athletes (IOA))
Athletes: 10,651 (4,069 women, 6,582 men)
Events: 300 
Volunteers: 46,967
Media: 16,033 (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters)

  • The emblem represents the figure of an athlete, using typically Australian shapes and colours. The boomerangs and suggestions of sun and rocks, together with the colours of the harbour, beaches and red interior invoke the unique Australian landscape and its original inhabitants.

    The flash which transforms the silhouette of Sydney Opera House into a trail of smoke from an Olympic torch recalls the emblem of Sydney’s Olympic candidature.

  • AthleteSport
    Chary MamedovAthletics
    Viktoriya BrigadnayaAthletics
    Galina AtayevaJudo
    Nasiba SalayevaJudo
    Igor PirekeyevShooting
    Aida SteshenkoTable Tennis
    Umurbek BazarbayevWeightlifting
    Nepes GukulovWrestling Greco-Roman
  • Start date:
    10 May 2000, Olympia (Greece)

    End date:
    15 September 2000, Olympic Stadium, Sydney (Australia)

    First torchbearer:
    Lambros Papakostas, Olympic participant in athletics (1992, 1996)

    Last torchbearer:
    Cathy Freeman, Olympic participant in athletics (1992, 1996, 2000), gold medallist in Sydney 2000 and silver medallist in Atlanta 1996. 

    Number of torchbearers:
    ~900 in Greece, ~1,500 in Oceania, 11,000 in Australia

    Recruitment of torchbearers:
    In Australia, the Community Torchbearers programme allowed the Australian general public to nominate people who were notable for their achievements or worked for the common good. Through this programme, 6,000 torchbearers were selected from among a total of over 43,000 nominations.
    The rest of the torchbearers were either chosen through sponsors, media partners and the Organising Committee, or were Olympians. About 7 per cent of the torchbearers were of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

    1,696 km on land and 463 nautical miles in Greece, ~17,000 km in Oceania, 27,000 km in Australia.

    Countries visited:
    Greece, Guam, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia.


    Syd is a reference to Sydney, Olly to Olympic and Millie to the new millennium.

    The three mascots are a duck-billed platypus (Syd), a kookaburra (Olly) and an echidna or spiny anteater (Millie). They symbolise the water, air and earth respectively. Their colours correspond to those of the Games emblem, and all three are typical examples of Australian fauna.

    Matthew Hatton


    • The choice of mascots was based on a survey in Australia and other countries. Matthew Hatton's duck-billed platypus sketch got him selected for the mascots project. The objective of the project was also to avoid kangaroos or koalas, which is why two other less well known animals were chosen.
    • This was the first time there had been three official mascots. There had previously been couples, for example Hidy and Howdy for the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, or even a quartet: the four Snowlets or the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.
    • The kookaburra and the duck-billed platypus are two emblems of the Australian state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital.