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Olympic games (1)
Modern Olympic Games
The Sydney Olympics were considered to be among the best-organized
Games in history and their security system was exemplary. Also more nations and
athletes than ever before participated in these games (199 nations/10.651 athletes).
The team of the host to the Olympics was the largest to ever represent Australia
in Olympic competition.
Juan Antonio Samaranch attended the events for the last time as President
of the International Olympic Committee and appeared very moved. He was IOC President
from 1980 until 2001 and his name has been strongly connected with the history
of modern Olympics organization. He now is Honorary ICO President for life.
Cathy Freeman who afterwards won the golden medal in 400m lit the
The Sydney experience recalled to many minds the Olympic Creed as
stated by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games: "The
most important thing is not to win but to take part, just as the most important
thing to life is not the triumph but the struggle". Those athletes who had persisted
in their efforts, instead of giving up after losing in the past, were finally
rewarded. The USA softball team may have lost three games at start but they soon
"recovered", their performances were very good and they finally defeated the teams
they had lost to. Birgit Fischer who competed in canoeing won two gold medals
- her first after 20 years. Judo athlete Judika Ryoko Tamura who had competed
both in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic finals without managing to defeat her
adversaries, finally made it in Sydney and won the gold medal.
There were, of course, cases of athletes keeping on a very impressive
course such as rower Steve Redgrave who won the gold medal in five consecutive
Olympics. Swimmer Ιan Thorpe, apart from wining the silver medal with the 4x200m
freestyle Australian relay team, won the gold medal in 4x100m freestyle, in 200m
freestyle and in 400m freestyle where he also established a new world record over
his own previous one.
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