2000 Summer Olympics

Facts

Competition type Olympic Games
Host city (Venues)
Opening ceremony 15 September
Closing ceremony 1 October
Competition dates 13 September – 1 October
OCOG Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
Participants 10647 from 200 countries
Medal events 300 in 39 disciplines
Other events 2 in 1 disciplines

Overview

In September 1993, when the IOC voted on the host city for the 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney won. And in early October 2000, at the close of the Games of the XXVIIth Olympiad, Sydney had won again. The Australian city demonstrated to the world how to conduct an Olympic Games. At the Closing Ceremony, President Juan Antonio Samaranch declared the Sydney Olympics the “best ever”, and nobody disagreed.

The 2000 Olympic Games were not without their troubles, but most of these preceded those glorious two weeks in September. In late November 1998, the Olympic Bribery Scandal hit, when it was revealed that the Salt Lake City Bid Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games had paid college tuition for the children of certain IOC members, in an effort to buy their votes. As the scandal escalated, all Olympic groups began to have some problems with fund raising, and the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) was not spared, but most of the venues were already built, and SOCOG overcame the problem. As the reverberations from the Scandal lessened in early 2000, Sydney was able to meet its budget.

The only other significant problem at Sydney was the recurring difficulty with drugs and doping. Prior to the Games, 28 Chinese Olympic athletes were withdrawn when the Chinese Olympic Committee reported that they had tested positive for drugs. Several athletes were disqualified and lost medals, but the most publicity for a doping positive went to an athlete who did not compete in Sydney. C. J. Hunter, the American shot putter, and husband of sprint star, Marion Jones, had qualified for the 2000 Olympics but withdrew after surgery on his knee. It was then revealed in mid-Olympics that he had tested positive for drugs at meets earlier in the summer. The press, hungry for controversies midst an otherwise almost perfect Olympics, reported this finding with a vengeance, and brought up the other, much less publicized, doping positives.

The Games began with an Opening Ceremony in which the Olympic Flame was lit by Cathy Freeman, a native aboriginal 400 metre runner. It was to a certain degree a political choice, as the Australians were only then admitting their previous poor treatment of aboriginal peoples, and attempting to address the problems this had created. Freeman was probably the single biggest hero to the Australian nation, as she won the 400 metre gold medal, the only final torch bearer to ever win a gold medal at the same Olympics.

Marion Jones was one of the big stories of the Olympics. Prior to the Olympics, she announced plans to attempt to win five gold medals – the 100 metres, 200 metres, long jump, and both relays. She failed, but hers was still a wondrous Olympics – three gold medals in the sprints and 4×400 metres relay, and bronzes in the long jump and 4×100 relay. It was the most medals ever won in track & field at a single Olympics by a woman. Sadly, in 2007, she confessed to steroid usage during the period of the 2000 Olympics, and all of her medals and results were annulled.

The Australians focused on swimming, almost their national sport. Their big pre-Games hero was Ian Thorpe, the 17-year-old wunderkind, who had set multiple world records in the past year. Thorpe opened the Olympics by winning the 400 metre freestyle in world record time on the first night of competition. The Australians expected great things from Thorpe, and later that night he helped the Australian 4×100 freestyle relay upset the Americans. Thorpe later added another relay gold medal in the 4×200, but he did not win the 200 freestyle, as expected.

That victory went to the Dutchman, Pieter van den Hoogenband, who also won the 100 metres freestyle. The Dutch swimmers starred at the Olympics, as on the distaff side, Inge de Bruijn won gold medals in the 50 metres freestyle, 100 metres freestyle, and 100 metres butterfly, setting world records in the two freestyle sprint races. De Bruijn was equalled for the most gold medals on the Dutch team by cyclist Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, who won the individual pursuit, the road race, and the individual time trial.

No athlete was bigger than the 2000 Olympic Games themselves. Sydney and Australia set a standard that the Olympic Movement will long remember. Looking back, one almost wonders if the Games were real. Could anything in our imperfect world have been so glorious? The Olympic Games have seen the glory that was Greece, and the grandeur that was Rome in 1960, but now it also had the magic that was Sydney.

Bid process

Bid voting at the 101st IOC Session in Monte Carlo in 23 September 1993.

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Sydney Australia 30 30 37 45
Beijing China 32 37 40 43
Manchester Great Britain 11 13 11
Berlin Germany 9 9
Istanbul Turkey 7

Ceremonies

Officially opened by William Deane (Governor-General)
Torchbearer(s) Cathy Freeman (Lit flame), Raelene Boyle, Betty Cuthbert, Debbie Flintoff-King, Shirley Strickland de la Hunty, Dawn Fraser, Shane Gould
Taker of the Athlete's Oath Rechelle Hawkes
Taker of the Official's Oath Peter Kerr (Water Polo)
Flagbearers Full list
Olympic Flag Bearers Bill Roycroft, Murray Rose, Liane Tooth, Gillian Rolton, Marjorie Jackson, Lorraine Crapp, Mike Wenden, Nick Green

Medal Disciplines

Archery Cycling Track Sailing
Artistic Gymnastics Diving Shooting
Artistic Swimming Equestrian Dressage Softball
Athletics Equestrian Eventing Swimming
Badminton Equestrian Jumping Table Tennis
Baseball Fencing Taekwondo
Basketball Football Tennis
Beach Volleyball Handball Trampolining
Boxing Hockey Triathlon
Canoe Slalom Judo Volleyball
Canoe Sprint Modern Pentathlon Water Polo
Cycling Mountain Bike Rhythmic Gymnastics Weightlifting
Cycling Road Rowing Wrestling

Other Disciplines

Athletics

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 37 24 32 93
Russian Federation RUS 32 28 29 89
People's Republic of China CHN 28 16 14 58
Australia AUS 16 25 17 58
Germany GER 13 17 26 56
France FRA 13 14 11 38
Italy ITA 13 8 13 34
Netherlands NED 12 9 4 25
Cuba CUB 11 11 7 29
Great Britain GBR 11 10 7 28
Romania ROU 11 6 9 26
Republic of Korea KOR 8 10 10 28
Hungary HUN 8 6 3 17
Poland POL 6 5 3 14
Japan JPN 5 8 5 18
Bulgaria BUL 5 6 2 13
Greece GRE 4 6 3 13
Sweden SWE 4 5 3 12
Norway NOR 4 3 3 10
Ethiopia ETH 4 1 3 8
Ukraine UKR 3 10 10 23
Kazakhstan KAZ 3 4 0 7
Belarus BLR 3 3 11 17
Canada CAN 3 3 8 14
Spain ESP 3 3 5 11
Turkey TUR 3 0 2 5
Islamic Republic of Iran IRI 3 0 1 4
Czech Republic CZE 2 3 3 8
Kenya KEN 2 3 2 7
Denmark DEN 2 3 1 6
Finland FIN 2 1 1 4
Austria AUT 2 1 0 3
Lithuania LTU 2 0 3 5
Azerbaijan AZE 2 0 1 3
The Bahamas BAH 2 0 1 3
Slovenia SLO 2 0 0 2
Switzerland SUI 1 6 2 9
Indonesia INA 1 3 2 6
Slovakia SVK 1 3 1 5
Mexico MEX 1 2 3 6
Nigeria NGR 1 2 0 3
Algeria ALG 1 1 3 5
Uzbekistan UZB 1 1 2 4
Latvia LAT 1 1 1 3
Serbia and Montenegro SCG 1 1 1 3
New Zealand NZL 1 0 3 4
Estonia EST 1 0 2 3
Thailand THA 1 0 2 3
Croatia CRO 1 0 1 2
Cameroon CMR 1 0 0 1
Colombia COL 1 0 0 1
Mozambique MOZ 1 0 0 1
Brazil BRA 0 6 6 12
Jamaica JAM 0 6 3 9
Belgium BEL 0 2 3 5
South Africa RSA 0 2 3 5
Argentina ARG 0 2 2 4
Chinese Taipei TPE 0 1 4 5
Morocco MAR 0 1 4 5
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 0 1 3 4
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia KSA 0 1 1 2
Republic of Moldova MDA 0 1 1 2
Trinidad and Tobago TTO 0 1 1 2
Ireland IRL 0 1 0 1
Sri Lanka SRI 0 1 0 1
Uruguay URU 0 1 0 1
Vietnam VIE 0 1 0 1
Georgia GEO 0 0 6 6
Costa Rica CRC 0 0 2 2
Portugal POR 0 0 2 2
Armenia ARM 0 0 1 1
Barbados BAR 0 0 1 1
Chile CHI 0 0 1 1
Iceland ISL 0 0 1 1
India IND 0 0 1 1
Israel ISR 0 0 1 1
Kuwait KUW 0 0 1 1
Kyrgyzstan KGZ 0 0 1 1
North Macedonia MKD 0 0 1 1
Qatar QAT 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Ian Thorpe AUS 3 2 0 5
Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel NED 3 1 0 4
Inge de Bruijn NED 3 1 0 4
Jenny Thompson USA 3 0 1 4
Lenny Krayzelburg USA 3 0 0 3
Michael Klim AUS 2 2 0 4
Aleksey Nemov RUS 2 1 3 6
Gary Hall, Jr. USA 2 1 1 4
Florian Rousseau FRA 2 1 0 3
Yelena Zamolodchikova RUS 2 1 0 3
Yana Klochkova UKR 2 1 0 3

All medalists at these Games