In the first-ever Guardian poll of Australia’s greatest sporting moments, Cathy Freeman’s famous 400-meter gold-winning sprint in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which took on national significance, took first place. Following Cortnee Vine’s game-winning penalty in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Freeman’s victory—which garnered more than twice as many votes as the runner-up—remains a beloved piece of Australian sports history and a testament to sporting brilliance.
John Aloisi’s crucial 2005 penalty, which put the Socceroos in third place and sent them to the Men’s World Cup in Germany, was acknowledged. The significance of the moment was further reinforced by the tens of thousands of votes cast in the 10-day January poll.
In the meantime, Freeman’s victory came on September 25, right before the year 2000 began, a few days after she enthralled onlookers by lighting the Games’ ceremonial flame. These legendary sporting events are ingrained in history and serve as enduring turning points in their individual stories.
Achievement for Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman’s arrival sparked a national frenzy ahead of the much awaited race. Due to illness and injuries, Marie-José Pérec, her primary opponent, has hardly participated in competitions in recent years. Pérec abruptly left Australia a few days prior to their confrontation, which put more emphasis on Freeman and gave the already gripping story a dramatic turn.
Freeman shared; “I can’t quite believe my 2000 Olympic victory has been named the greatest sporting moment,” an article from theguardian mentioned.
At the Sydney Olympics, Cathy Freeman won the 400-meter gold medal with an astounding 8,082 votes in a stunning display of physical prowess. With a winning penalty in the Matildas’ World Cup shootout triumph over France, Cortnee Vine received 3,568 votes for her accuracy.
With 1,964 votes, John Aloisi’s crucial penalty sent the Socceroos to the World Cup, making it another momentous day in history. These legendary achievements, emblazoned in sports history, serve as everlasting representations of victory and harmony.
Cover Photo: IG