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16 Febuary - Cathy Freeman, ran the race of her life.

Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:54 pm
by Max ADU
Australian Birthday Today - Catherine Astrid Salome "Cathy" Freeman, OAM born 16 February 1973, in Slade Point, Mackay, Queensland is a former Australian sprinter.

Cathy Freeman.jpg

Freeman began athletics at a very young age. Her first coach was her stepfather, Bruce Barber.

By her early teens she had a collection of regional and national titles, having competed in the 100 metres, 200 metres and high jump.

In 1990, Freeman was chosen as a member of Australia's 4 × 100 m relay team for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand.

The team won the gold medal, making Freeman the first ever Aboriginal Commonwealth Games gold medallist, as well as one of the youngest, at 16 years old.

She was then selected to represent Australia at the 1990 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Plovdiv,Bulgaria where she reached the semi-finals of the 100 m and placed fifth in the final of the 400 m.

In 1992, she travelled to her first Olympic Games, reaching the second round of her new speciality event; the 400 metres.

1994 was Freeman's breakthrough season, when she entered into the world's elite for the first time. Competing at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Freeman won gold in both the 200 m and 400 m.

She also competed as a member of Australia's 4x100 m squad, winning the silver medal and as a member of the 4x400 m team, who finished first but were later disqualified.

During the 1994 season, Freeman took 1.3 seconds from her 400 m personal best, achieving 50.04 seconds. She also set all-time personal bests in the 100 m (11.24) and 200 m (22.25).

Freeman made more progress during the 1996 season, setting many personal bests and Australian records.

In 1997, Freeman won the 400 m at the World Championships in Athens, with a time of 49.77 seconds. Her only loss in the 400 m that season was in Oslo where she injured her foot.

Freeman took a break for the 1998 season, due to injury. Upon her return to the track in 1999, Freeman did not lose a single 400 m race, including at the World Championships.

At the 2000 Summer Olympics, Cathy lit the Olympic Flame.

Freeman was the home favorite for the 400 m title at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where she was expected to face-off with rival Pérec. This showdown never happened, as Pérec left the Games unexpectedly and never competed.

Freeman won the Olympic title in a time of 49.13 seconds, becoming only the second Australian Aboriginal Olympic champion (the first was Freeman's 4x400 teammate Nova Peris-Kneebone who won for field hockey 4 years earlier in Atlanta).

After the race, Freeman took a victory lap, carrying both the Aboriginal and Australian flags. This was despite the fact that unofficial flags are banned at the Olympic Games and the Aboriginal flag, while recognized as official in Australia, is not a national flag, nor recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

In 1998, she was awarded Australian of the Year and in 2001 the World Sportswoman of the Year and the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Watch on

Re: 16 Febuary - Cathy Freeman, ran the race of her life.

Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:03 pm
by Max ADU