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Sydney 2000


Sydney showed the world how to host an Olympic Games. At the Closing Ceremony, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch declared the Sydney Olympics the "best ever", and nobody disagreed.

The Sydney Olympics were the biggest to date, with 10 651 athletes competing in 300 events.

Triathlon and taekwondo were two new additions to the Olympic programme.

Bidding contenders
Sydney, Beijing, Manchester, Berlin, Istanbul

Top Athletes

Steven Redgrave gained sporting immortality by becoming the first rower to win gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games.

American sprint sensation Marion Jones was the dominant force on the track as she became the first woman to win five medals in athletics at the same Olympics with gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m relay, and bronze in the long jump and the 4x100m relay.

Australian 17-year-old Ian Thorpe thrilled the home crowds by winning three gold and two silver medals in the pool - and set three new world records in the process. He first set a new world record in the 400m freestyle final before anchoring the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay teams to dramatic victories over the Americans in new record times.

Memorable Moments

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.

Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea became an unlikely hero of the Sydney Games. Nicknamed "Eric the Eel", he became an overnight celebrity for swimming one of the slowest races in Olympic history. The 22-year-old student won his 100m freestyle heat in one minute 52 seconds, about a minute slower than the rest of the heat winners. The two other swimmers in his heat were disqualified.


Susanthika Jayasinghe became the first Sri Lankan woman to win a medal, claiming bronze in the 200m.

Birgit Fischer earned two gold medals in kayaking to become the first woman in any sport to win medals 20 years apart.

Michael Johnson became the only man to successfully defend his 400m title but was denied the chance to defend his 200m gold after injury ruled him out of the US trials.

Gymnast Aleksey Nemov took his Olympic medal tally to 12, the most by any gymnast since the break-up of the Soviet juggernaut gymnastic teams of the 1960s and 1970s. He starred at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, unusually winning two gold, one silver, and three bronze medals both times.

Position Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States of America 37 24 33 94
2 Russian Federation 32 28 29 89
3 China 28 16 14 58
4 Australia 16 25 17 58
5 Germany 13 17/td> 26 56
6 France 13 14 11 38
7 Italy 13 8 13 34
8 The Netherlands 12 9 4 25
9 Cuba 11 11 7 29
10 Great Britain 11 10 7 28
Position Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
20 Ethiopia 4 1 3 8
29 Kenya 2 3 2 7
41 Algeria 1 1 3 5
49 Cameroon 1 0 0 1
51 Mozambique 1 0 0 1
54 Nigeria 0 3 0 3
56 South Africa 0 2 3 5
59 Morocco 0 1 4 5

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