2000 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXVII Olympiad
2000 Summer Olympics logo.svg
Emblem of the 2000 Summer Olympics [lower-alpha 1]
Host city Sydney, Australia
MottoShare the Spirit - Dare to Dream
Athletes10,651 (6,582 men, 4,069 women) [1]
Events300 in 28 sports (40 disciplines)
Opening 15 September 2000
Closing 1 October 2000
Opened by
Stadium Stadium Australia

The 2000 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and also known as Sydney 2000 (Dharug: Gadigal 2000), the Millennium Olympic Games or the Games of the New Millennium, was an international multi-sport event held from 15 September to 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It marked the second time the Summer Olympics were held in Australia, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the first being in Melbourne, in 1956.


Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 Games in 1993. Teams from 199 countries participated in the 2000 Games, which were the first to feature at least 300 events in its official sports programme. The Games' cost was estimated to be A$6.6 billion. These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch before the arrival of his successor Jacques Rogge. The 2000 Games were the last of the two consecutive Summer Olympics to be held in a predominantly English-speaking country following the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States.

The final medal tally at the 2000 Summer Olympics was led by the United States, followed by Russia and China with host Australia at fourth place overall. Cameroon, Colombia, Latvia, Mozambique and Slovenia won a gold medal for the first time in their Olympic histories, while Barbados, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam won their first ever Olympic medals. Australia will host the Summer Olympics again in 2032 at Brisbane, Queensland making it the first Oceanian country to host the Olympics three times.

The 2000 Games received universal acclaim, with the organisation, volunteers, sportsmanship, and Australian public being lauded in the international media. Bill Bryson of The Times called the Sydney Games "one of the most successful events on the world stage", saying that they "couldn't be better". [3] James Mossop of the Electronic Telegraph called the Games "such a success that any city considering bidding for future Olympics must be wondering how it can reach the standards set by Sydney", [4] while Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette suggested that the "IOC should quit while it's ahead. Admit there can never be a better Olympic Games, and be done with it," as "Sydney was both exceptional and the best". [3] These games would provide the inspiration for London's winning bid for the 2012 Olympic Games in 2005; in preparing for the 2012 Games, Lord Coe declared the 2000 Games the "benchmark for the spirit of the Games, unquestionably", admitting that the London organising committee "attempted in a number of ways to emulate what the Sydney Organising Committee did." [5]

Host city selection

Sydney won the right to host the Games on 24 September 1993, after being selected over Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul and Manchester in four rounds of voting, at the 101st IOC Session in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The Australian city of Melbourne who also hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics had lost out to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics three years earlier. [6] Beijing would later be selected to host the 2008 Summer Olympics eight years later on 13 July 2001 and the 2022 Winter Olympics twenty-two years later on 31 July 2015. Beijing's loss to Sydney was seen as a "significant blow" to an "urgent political priority" of the Chinese Communist Party leadership having mounted the most intense and expensive candidacy campaign at the date so far(this include the Summer and Winter Games). Although it is unknown as two members of the International Olympic Committee voted for Sydney over Beijing in 1993, it appears that an important role was played by Human Rights Watch's campaign to "stop Beijing" because of China's human rights record and international isolation following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. [7] Many in China were angry at what they saw as U.S.-led interference in the vote, and the outcome contributed to rising anti-Western sentiment in China and a new phase at the tensions in Sino-American relations. [8]

2000 Summer Olympics bidding results [9]
CityNOC NameRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4
Sydney Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 30303745
Beijing Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 32374043
Manchester Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 111311
Berlin Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 99
Istanbul Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 7


The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics at US$5 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 90% in real terms. [10] This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organising committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast centre, and media and press centre, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost for Sydney 2000 compares with a cost of US$4.6 billion for Rio 2016, US$40–44 billion for Beijing 2008 and US$51 billion for Sochi 2014, the most expensive Olympics in history. The average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is US$5.2 billion, average cost overrun is 176%.

In 2000, the Auditor-General of New South Wales reported that the Sydney Games cost A$6.6 billion, with a net cost to the public between A$1.7 and A$2.4 billion. [11] [12] In the years leading up to the games, funds were shifted from education and health programs to cover Olympic expenses. [13]

It has been estimated that the economic impact of the 2000 Olympics was that A$2.1 billion has been shaved from public consumption. Economic growth was not stimulated to a net benefit and in the years after 2000, foreign tourism to NSW grew by less than tourism to Australia as a whole. A "multiplier" effect on broader economic development was not realised, as a simple "multiplier" analysis fails to capture is that resources have to be redirected from elsewhere: the building of a stadium is at the expense of other public works such as extensions to hospitals. Building sporting venues does not add to the aggregate stock of productive capital in the years following the Games: "Equestrian centres, softball compounds and man-made rapids are not particularly useful beyond their immediate function." [14]

Many venues that were constructed in Sydney Olympic Park failed financially in the years immediately following the Olympics to meet the expected bookings to meet upkeep expenses. It was only the 2003 Rugby World Cup which reconnected the park back to citizens. [15] In recent years, infrastructure costs for some facilities have been of growing concern to the NSW Government, especially facilities in Western Sydney. [15] Proposed metro and light rail links from Olympic Park to Parramatta have been estimated to cost in the same order of magnitude as the public expenditure on the games. [16] [ citation needed ] Stadium Australia had been considered for demolition in 2017 by then NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, citing that the stadium was "built for an Olympics" but not for modern spectators. [17] The plan was scrapped in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. [18] The Dunc Gray Velodrome has also struggled to keep up its $500,000 per year maintenance costs, [16] although it is still used for track cycling events. [19]

Chronological summary of the 2000 Summer Olympics

Preliminary matches

Although the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was not scheduled until 15 September, the football competitions began with preliminary matches on 13 September. Among the pre-ceremony fixtures, host nation Australia lost 1–0 to Italy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was the main stadium for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Day 1: 15 September

Cultural display highlights

The 2000 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony at Stadium Australia, on 15 September 2000. 2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony 1.JPEG
The 2000 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony at Stadium Australia, on 15 September 2000.

The opening ceremony began with a tribute to the Australian pastoral heritage of the Australian stockmen and the importance of the stock horse in Australia's heritage. It was produced and filmed by the Sydney Olympic Broadcasting Organisation and the home nation broadcaster Channel 7. [20] This was introduced by lone rider Steve Jefferys and his rearing Australian Stock Horse Ammo. At the cracking of Jefferys' stockwhip, a further 120 riders entered the stadium, their stock horses performing intricate steps, including forming the five Olympic Rings, to a special Olympics version of the theme, which Bruce Rowland had previously composed for the 1982 film The Man from Snowy River .

The Australian National Anthem was sung, the first verse by Human Nature and the second by Julie Anthony.

The ceremony continued, showing many aspects of the land and its people: the affinity of the mainly coastal-dwelling Australians with the sea that surrounds the "Island Continent". The indigenous occupation of the land, the coming of the First Fleet, the continued immigration from many nations and the rural industry on which the economy of the nation was built, including a display representing the harshness of rural life based on the paintings of Sir Sidney Nolan. Two memorable scenes were the representation of the "Heart" of the country by 200 Aboriginal women from Central Australia who danced up "the mighty spirit of God to protect the Games" and the overwhelmingly noisy representation of the construction industry by hundreds of tap-dancing teenagers.

Because Bibi Salisachs (the wife of IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch) was seriously ill and unable to accompany her husband to the Olympics, Dawn Fraser, former Australian Olympic Champion swimmer and member of the Parliament of New South Wales, accompanied Samaranch during the Australian cultural display, explaining to him some of the cultural references that are unfamiliar to non-Australians.

Formal presentation

A record 199 nations entered the stadium, with a record 80 of them winning at least one medal. The only missing IOC member was Afghanistan, who was banned due to the extremist rule of the Taliban's oppression of women and its prohibition of sports. [21] The ceremony featured a unified entrance by the athletes of North and South Korea, [lower-alpha 2] using a specially designed unification flag: a white background flag with a blue map of the Korean Peninsula. Four athletes from East Timor also marched in the parade of nations as individual Olympic athletes and marched directly before the host country. Although the country-to-be had no National Olympic Committee then, they were allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag with country code IOA. The Governor-General, Sir William Deane, opened the games.

The Olympic Flag was carried around the arena by eight former Australian Olympic champions: Bill Roycroft, Murray Rose, Liane Tooth, Gillian Rolton, Marjorie Jackson, Lorraine Crapp, Michael Wenden and Nick Green. During the raising of the Olympics Flag, the Olympic Hymn was sung by the Millennium Choir of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in Greek. Following this, Tina Arena sang a purpose-written pop song, The Flame. [22]

The opening ceremony concluded with the lighting of the Olympic Flame, which was brought into the stadium by former Australian Olympic champion Herb Elliott. Then, celebrating 100 years of women's participation in the Olympic Games, former Australian women Olympic medalists Betty Cuthbert and Raelene Boyle, Dawn Fraser, Shirley Strickland (later Shirley Strickland de la Hunty), Shane Gould and Debbie Flintoff-King brought the torch through the stadium, handing it over to Cathy Freeman, who lit the flame in the cauldron within a circle of fire. The choice of Freeman, an Aboriginal woman, to light the flame was notable given the history of human rights abuses against Aboriginal people in Australia. [23] Following her lighting, Freeman was the subject of racial abuse from some Australians. [24] The planned spectacular climax to the ceremony was delayed by the technical glitch of a computer switch which malfunctioned, causing the sequence to shut down by giving a false reading. This meant that the Olympic flame was suspended in mid-air for about four minutes rather than immediately rising up a water-covered ramp to the top of the stadium. When the cause of the problem was discovered, the program was overridden and the cauldron continued its course, and the ceremony concluded with a fireworks display. [25]

Day 2: 16 September

Gold medallist Nancy Johnson (centre) of the U.S., raises her hands with silver medallist Cho-Hyun Kang (left), of South Korea, and bronze winner Gao Jing (right), of China, during the first medal ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games. 2000 Olympics first medals.jpg
Gold medallist Nancy Johnson (centre) of the U.S., raises her hands with silver medallist Cho-Hyun Kang (left), of South Korea, and bronze winner Gao Jing (right), of China, during the first medal ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games.

The first medals of the Games were awarded in the women's 10 metre air rifle competition, which was won by Nancy Johnson of the United States.

The Triathlon made its Olympic debut with the women's race. Set in the surroundings of the Sydney Opera House, Brigitte McMahon representing Switzerland swam, cycled and ran to the first gold medal in the sport, beating the favoured home athletes such as Michelie Jones who won silver. McMahon only passed Jones in sight of the finish line.

The first star of the Games was 17-year-old Australian Ian Thorpe, who first set a new world record in the 400-metre freestyle final before competing in an exciting 4 × 100 m freestyle final. Swimming the last leg, Thorpe passed the leading American team and arrived in a new world record time, two-tenths of a second ahead of the Americans. In the same event for women, the Americans also broke the world record, finishing ahead of the Netherlands and Sweden.

Samaranch had to leave for home, as his wife was severely ill. Upon arrival, his wife had already died. Samaranch returned to Sydney four days later. The Olympic flag was flown at half-staff during the period as a sign of respect to Samaranch's wife.

Day 3: 17 September

Canadian Simon Whitfield sprinted away in the last 100 metres of the men's triathlon, becoming the inaugural winner in the event.

On the cycling track, Robert Bartko beat fellow German Jens Lehmann in the individual pursuit, setting a new Olympic Record. Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel set a world record in the semi-finals the same event for women.

In the swimming pool, American Tom Dolan beat the world record in the 400-metre medley, successfully defending the title he won in Atlanta four years prior. Dutchwoman Inge de Bruijn also clocked a new world record, beating her own time in the 100 m butterfly final to win by more than a second.

Day 4: 18 September

The main event for the Australians on the fourth day of the Games was the 200 m freestyle. Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband had broken the world record in the semi-finals, taking it from the new Australian hero Ian Thorpe, who came close to the world record in his semi-final heat. As the final race finished, Van den Hoogenband's time was exactly the same as in the semi-finals, finishing ahead of Thorpe by half a second.

China won the gold medal in the men's team all-around gymnastics competition after being the runner-up in the previous two Olympics. The other medals were taken by Ukraine and Russia, respectively.

Zijlaard-van Moorsel lived up to the expectations set by her world record in cycling in the semis by winning the gold medal.

Day 7: 21 September

During the Women's Gymnastics All-Around, female athletes suffered damning scores and injuries due to improperly installed gymnastics equipment. Gymnasts performing on the vault gave uncharacteristically poor performances and fell. Officials blamed the series of falls and low scores on performance anxiety. It wasn't until Australian gymnast Allana Slater and her coach, Peggy Liddick, voiced concerns about the equipment that officials discovered the apparatus was five centimetres, or almost two inches, lower than it should've been. While athletes were given the opportunity to perform again, for some of them, the damage to their mental or physical health caused by the vault was irreparable. Chinese gymnast Kui Yuanyuan and American gymnast Kristen Maloney both injured their legs while attempting to stick their landings, with Kui needing to be carried to an examination area and Maloney damaging a titanium rod that had recently been implanted in her shin. Romanian gymnast Andreea Răducan ultimately took gold while her teammates, Simona Amânar and Maria Olaru took silver and bronze, respectively.

Day 9: 23 September

By rowing in the winning coxless four, Steve Redgrave of Great Britain became a member of a select group who had won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics.

The swimming 4 x 100-metre medley relay of B.J. Bedford, Megan Quann (Jendrick), Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres became the first women's relay under 4-minutes, swimming 3:58 and setting a world record, claiming the gold medal for the United States.

Day 10: 24 September

Rulon Gardner, never an NCAA champion or a world medalist, beat Alexander Karelin of Russia to win gold in the super heavyweight class, Greco-Roman wrestling. Karelin had won gold in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta. Before this fight, he had never lost in international competition, had been unbeaten in all competitions in 13 years, and had not surrendered a point in a decade.

Day 11: 25 September

Cathy Freeman after the 400-metre final Cathy400 mediafrenzy.jpg
Cathy Freeman after the 400-metre final

Australian Cathy Freeman won the 400-metre final in front of a jubilant Sydney crowd at the Olympic Stadium, ahead of Lorraine Graham of Jamaica and Katharine Merry of Great Britain. Freeman's win made her the first competitor in Olympic Games history to light the Olympic Flame and then go on to win a Gold Medal. The attendance at the stadium was 112,524 – the largest attendance for any sport in Olympic Games history.

In a men's basketball pool match between the United States and France, the USA's Vince Carter made one of the most famous dunks in basketball history. After getting the ball off a steal, the 6'6"/1.98 m Carter drove to the basket, with 7'2"/2.18 m centre Frédéric Weis in his way. Carter jumped, spread his legs in midair, scraped Weis' head on the way up, and dunked. The French media dubbed the feat le dunk de la mort ("the dunk of death").

Day 14: 28 September

The Canadian flag at the athletes' village was lowered to half-mast as Canadian athletes paid tribute to the former prime minister Pierre Trudeau after hearing of his death in Montreal (because of the time zone difference, it was 29 September in Sydney when Trudeau died). The Canadian flag was flown at half-mast for the remainder of the Olympics, on orders from both IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, as the state funeral did not take place until 3 October, two days after the closing ceremony, and the Canadian athletes subsequently rushed back to attend his funeral after 1 October. 

Day 16: 30 September

Cameroon won a historic gold medal over Spain in the Men's Olympic Football Final at the Olympic Stadium. The game went to a penalty shootout, which was won by Cameroon 5–3. [26]

Day 17: 1 October

Olympic colours on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Fireworks, Sydney Harbour Bridge, 2000 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.jpg
Olympic colours on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The last event of the games was the Men's Marathon, contested on a course that started in North Sydney. The event was won by Ethiopian Gezahegne Abera, with Kenyan Erick Wainaina second, and Tesfaye Tola, also of Ethiopia, third. It was the first time since the 1968 Olympics that an Ethiopian won the gold medal in this event.

The closing ceremony commenced with Christine Anu performing her version of the Warumpi Band's song "My Island Home", with several Aboriginal dancers atop the Geodome Stage in the middle of the stadium, around which several hundred umbrella and lamp box kids created an image of Aboriginal Dreamtime. The Geodome Stage was used throughout the ceremony, which was a flat stage mechanically raised into the shape of a Geode.

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch declared at the Closing Ceremony, [27]

"I am proud and happy to proclaim that you have presented to the world the best Olympic Games ever."

Subsequent Summer Olympics held in Athens, Beijing and London have been described by Samaranch's successor Jacques Rogge as "unforgettable, dream Games", "truly exceptional" and "happy and glorious games" respectively – the practice of declaring games the "best ever" having been retired after the 2000 Games.


The 2000 Summer Olympic programme featured 300 events in the following 28 sports:

2000 Summer Olympics Sports Programme

Although demonstration sports were abolished following the 1992 Summer Olympics, the Sydney Olympics featured wheelchair racing as exhibition events on the athletics schedule. [28]

Special quarantine conditions were introduced to allow entry of horses into Australia to participate in equestrian events, [29] avoiding the need for such events to take place elsewhere as had happened at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.


All dates are in AEDST (UTC+11); the other two cities, Adelaide uses ACST (UTC+9:30) and Brisbane uses AEST (UTC+10)
OCOpening ceremonyEvent competitions1Gold medal eventsCCClosing ceremony
September/October 2000SeptemberOctEvents
Olympic Rings Icon.svg Ceremonies OC CC
Aquatics Diving pictogram.svg Diving 2113144
Swimming pictogram.svg Swimming 44444444
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Synchronized swimming 11
Water polo pictogram.svg Water polo 11
Archery pictogram.svg Archery 11114
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 23597658146
Badminton pictogram.svg Badminton 2125
Baseball pictogram.svg Baseball 12
Softball pictogram.svg Softball 1
Basketball pictogram.svg Basketball 112
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 6612
Canoeing Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg Slalom2216
Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Sprint66
Cycling Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Road cycling11218
Cycling (track) pictogram.svg Track cycling221133
Cycling (mountain biking) pictogram.svg Mountain biking11
Equestrian pictogram.svg Equestrian 1111116
Fencing pictogram.svg Fencing 11111211110
Field hockey pictogram.svg Field hockey 112
Football pictogram.svg Football 112
Gymnastics Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Artistic11115518
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svg Rhythmic11
Gymnastics (trampoline) pictogram.svg Trampolining11
Handball pictogram.svg Handball 112
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 222222214
Modern pentathlon pictogram.svg Modern pentathlon 112
Rowing pictogram.svg Rowing 7714
Sailing pictogram.svg Sailing 3122311
Shooting pictogram.svg Shooting 222232217
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 11114
Taekwondo pictogram.svg Taekwondo 22228
Tennis pictogram.svg Tennis 224
Triathlon pictogram.svg Triathlon 112
Volleyball Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg Beach volleyball114
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Indoor volleyball11
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 122222111115
Wrestling pictogram.svg Wrestling 444416
Daily medal events13141515181818262518111717114024300
Cumulative total132742577593111137162180191208225236276300
September/October 200013th
Total events

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals in the 2000 Games.

The ranking in this table is based on information provided by the International Olympic Committee. [30] Some other sources [31] may be inconsistent due to not taking into account all later doping cases.

1Flag of the United States.svg  United States 37243293
2Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 32282989
3Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 28161559
4Flag of Australia.svg  Australia*16251758
5Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 13172656
6Flag of France.svg  France 13141138
7Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1381334
8Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 129425
9Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 1111729
10Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 1110728
Totals (10 entries)186162161509

  *   Host nation (Australia)

Participating National Olympic Committees

Participating countries 2000 Summer Olympic games countries.svg
Participating countries
Number of athletes 2000 Summer olympics team numbers.gif
Number of athletes

199 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated in the Sydney Games, two more than in the 1996 Summer Olympics; in addition, there were four Timorese Individual Olympic Athletes at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Eritrea, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau made their Olympic debut this year.

Democratic Republic of the Congo was once again designated under that name, after it participated as Zaire from 1984 to 1996.

Afghanistan was the only 1996 participant (and the only existing NOC) that did not participate in the 2000 Olympics, having been banned due to the Taliban's totalitarian rule in Afghanistan, their oppression of women, and its prohibition of sports.

Participating National Olympic Committees


Sydney Olympic Park

Stadium Australia Homebush stadium.jpg
Stadium Australia
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.jpg
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
State Hockey Centre Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.jpg
State Hockey Centre


Dunc Gray Velodrome 1Dunc Gray Velodrome.jpg
Dunc Gray Velodrome

Outside Sydney


SOCOG organisational structure circa 1998 - five groups and 33 divisions reporting to the CEO are organised primarily along functional lines with only a limited number of divisions (e.g. Interstate Football and Villages) anticipating a venue focussed design. SOCOG org structure 1998.gif
SOCOG organisational structure circa 1998 – five groups and 33 divisions reporting to the CEO are organised primarily along functional lines with only a limited number of divisions (e.g. Interstate Football and Villages) anticipating a venue focussed design.
SOCOG organisational structure circa 1999 - functional divisions and precinct/venue streams are organised in a matrix structure linked to the Main Operations Centre (MOC). Some functions such as Project Management (in the Games Coordination group) continue to exist largely outside this matrix structure. SOCOG org structure 1999.gif
SOCOG organisational structure circa 1999 – functional divisions and precinct/venue streams are organised in a matrix structure linked to the Main Operations Centre (MOC). Some functions such as Project Management (in the Games Coordination group) continue to exist largely outside this matrix structure.

Organisations responsible for the Olympics

A number of quasi-government bodies were responsible for the construction, organisation and execution of the Sydney Games. These included:

These organisations worked closely together and with other bodies such as:

These bodies are often collectively referred to as the "Olympic Family".

Organisation of the Paralympics

The organisation of the 2000 Summer Paralympics was the responsibility of the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee (SPOC). However, much of the planning and operation of the Paralympic Games was outsourced to SOCOG such that most operational programmes planned both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other Olympic events

The organisation of the Games included not only the actual sporting events, but also the management (and sometimes construction) of the sporting venues and surrounding precincts, the organisation of the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, and the Olympic torch relay, which began in Greece and travelled to Australia via numerous Oceania island nations.

Phases of the Olympic project

The staging of the Olympics were treated as a project on a vast scale, broken into several broad phases:

SOCOG organisational design

The internal organisation of SOCOG evolved over the phases of the project and changed, sometimes radically, several times.

In late 1998, the design was principally functional. The top two tiers below the CEO Sandy Hollway consisted of five groups (managed by Group General Managers and the Deputy CEO) and twenty divisions (managed by divisional General Managers), which in turn were further broken up into programmes and sub-programmes or projects.

In 1999, functional areas (FAs) broke up into geographic precinct and venue teams (managed by Precinct Managers and Venue Managers) with functional area staff reporting to both the FA manager and the venue manager. SOCOG moved to a matrix structure. The Interstate Football division extant in 1998 was the first of these geographically based venue teams.

Volunteer program

The origins of the volunteer program for Sydney 2000 dates back to the bid, as early as 1992.

On 17 December 1992, a group of Sydney citizens interested in the prospect of hosting the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games gathered for a meeting at Sports House at Wentworth Park in Sydney.

In the period leading up to 1999, after Sydney had won the bid, the small group of volunteers grew from approximately 42 to around 500. These volunteers became known as Pioneer Volunteers. The Pioneer Volunteer program was managed internally by SOCOG's Volunteer Services Department in consultation with prominent peak groups like The Centre for Volunteering (Volunteering and TAFE. Some of the Pioneer Volunteers still meet every four months, an unseen legacy of the games which brought together a community spirit not seen before.

During the Olympic games, tens of thousands of volunteers (the official figure placed at 46,967) [32] helped everywhere at the Olympic venues and elsewhere in the city. They were honoured with a parade like the athletes had a few days before. [33]


The bid logo, created by architect and designer Michael Bryce, [34] featured a colourful, stylised image of the Sydney Opera House.Some people see the clear reference to the beliefs of traditional peoples, as a clear image of the rainbow serpent.Beliefs in this mythological figure is common to all the original peoples of Australia,as due your gigantic size,your moviment causes drastic changes in geographic space and around. These peoples believed that every time the snake came out of the depths of bodies of water, its movement dissipated so much energy and related them to the phenomena of nature such as rains, storms and waterspouts,wherever it passed, everything around her changed.They also believed that the serpent was related to the cycle of life and death, recycling and the occupation of empty spaces and some other beliefs connect it with the ancestral sky with views of and the Southern Hemisphere night skies as main sight of the Southern Cross.

The official logo revealed in 1996,is also referred to as the "Millennium Man", [35] took the some curves of the bid logo and combined it with a stylised image of a runner to form a torchbearer in motion, formed by two small yellow boomerangs for arms and a larger red boomerang for legs.Now, the Olympic torch is represented through a blue smoke trail, which draws the iconic peaks of the Sydney Opera House and the serpent.

The design process of the official logo, as well as all other aspects of the Olympic Games' visual design identity, was awarded to Melbourne design studio FHA Image Design. [36] The Sydney Olympics brand identity project officially started in 1993,and lasted 7 years. It was also up to FHA Design to prepare the visual identity of the Paralympic Games and this also absorbed some elements as the identification signals and the pictograms.


The official mascots chosen for the 2000 Summer Olympics were Syd the platypus, Millie the echidna, and Olly the kookaburra, [37] designed by Matthew Hattan and Jozef Szekeres and named by Philip Sheldon of agency Weekes Morris Osborn in response to the original SOCOG recommendation of Murray, Margery and Dawn after famous Australian athletes.

There was also Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat, an unofficial mascot popularised by comedy team Roy Slaven and HG Nelson on the TV series The Dream with Roy and HG . Roy and HG also frequently disparaged the official mascots on their television program. [38] [39] [40]


Sponsors of the 2000 Summer Olympics
Global Olympic Partners
Australian Partners

Medals and bouquets

A total of 750 gold, 750 silver and 780 bronze medals were minted for the Games. The gold and silver medals contained 99.99 percent of pure silver. The bronze medals were 99 percent bronze with one percent silver, they were made by melting down Australian one-cent and two-cent coins, [41] [42] [43] which had been removed from circulation from 1992 onward.

The bouquets handed to medal recipients incorporated foliage from the Grevillea baileyana, also known as the white oak. [44]

Awards and commendations

The International Olympic Committee awarded Sydney and its inhabitants with the "Pierre de Coubertin Trophy" in recognition of the collaboration and happiness shown by the people of Sydney during the event to all the athletes and visitors around the world. [45]

After the games' end, the New South Wales Police Force was granted use of the Olympic Rings in a new commendation and citation as the IOC consideration after having staged the "safest" games ever.

Mo Awards

The Australian Entertainment Mo Awards (commonly known informally as the Mo Awards), were annual Australian entertainment industry awards. They recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia from 1975 to 2016. [46]

YearNominee / workAwardResult (wins only)
2000 SunmerOlympic Games Opening CeremonySpecial Event of the YearWon

In F.J. Campbell's 2018 novel No Number Nine, the last part of the book is set at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.[ citation needed ]

In Tom Clancy's thriller Rainbow Six and its video game adaptation, the 2000 Olympic Games are the setting of a plot by eco-terrorists, who plan to use the games in order to spread a terrible new plague throughout the world. [47]

In Morris Gleitzman's children's book Toad Rage , a cane toad travels to Sydney in a bid to become the Olympic mascot. [48]

The Games was a mockumentary television series run on the ABC network, with two seasons that ran in 1998 and 2000. The series satirized corruption and cronyism in the Olympic movement, bureaucratic ineptness in the New South Wales public service, and unethical behaviour within politics and the media. An unusual feature of the show was that the characters shared the same name as the actors who played them.

See also


  1. The logo is a stylised image of a torchbearer; the top part, in blue, represents the smoke from the Olympic torch, which draws the outline of the Sydney Opera House; the middle part, in yellow, represents the head and arms of a torchbearer, the arms symbolised by two boomerangs; the bottom part, in red, depicts the torchbearer's legs, also symbolised by a boomerang.
  2. The national teams of North Korea and South Korea competed separately in the Olympic events, even though they marched together as a unified Korean team in the opening ceremony.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olympic Games</span> Major international multi-sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 teams, representing sovereign states and territories, participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, and since 1994, have alternated between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years during the four-year period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Summer Olympic Games</span> Major international multi-sport event

The Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the Olympiad, and often referred to as the Summer Olympics, is a major international multi-sport event normally held once every four years. The inaugural Games took place in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and the most recent edition was held in 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is responsible for organising the Games and for overseeing the host city's preparations. The tradition of awarding medals began in 1904; in each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals for second place, and bronze medals for third place. The Winter Olympic Games were created out of the success of the Summer Olympic Games, which are regarded as the largest and most prestigious multi-sport international event in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Winter Olympic Games</span> Major international multi-sport event

The Winter Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The first Winter Olympic Games, the 1924 Winter Olympics, were held in Chamonix, France. The modern Olympic Games were inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1996 Summer Olympics</span> Multi-sport event in Atlanta, Georgia, US

The 1996 Summer Olympics were an international multi-sport event held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. These were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, and marked the centennial of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. These were also the first Summer Olympics since 1924 to be held in a different year than the Winter Olympics, as part of a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years. The 1996 Games were the first of the two consecutive Summer Olympics to be held in a predominantly English-speaking country preceding the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. These were also the last Summer Olympics to be held in North America until 2028, when Los Angeles will host the games for the third time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1976 Summer Olympics</span> Multi-sport event in Montreal, Canada

The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad and commonly known as Montreal 1976, were an international multi-sport event held from July 17 to August 1, 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam on May 12, 1970, over the bids of Moscow and Los Angeles. It was the first and, so far, only Summer Olympic Games to be held in Canada. Toronto hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics the same year as the Montreal Olympics, which still remains the only Summer Paralympics to be held in Canada. Calgary and Vancouver later hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and 2010, respectively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2004 Summer Olympics</span> Multi-sport event in Athens, Greece

The 2004 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and also known as Athens 2004, were an international multi-sport event held from 13 to 29 August 2004 in Athens, Greece. The Games saw 10,625 athletes compete, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries, with 301 medal events in 28 different sports. The 2004 Games marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance, and also marked the first time Athens hosted the Games since their first modern incarnation in 1896 as well as the return of the Olympic games to its birthplace. Athens became one of only four cities at the time to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games on two occasions. A new medal obverse was introduced at these Games, replacing the design by Giuseppe Cassioli that had been used since 1928. The new design features the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens rectifying the long-running mistake of using a depiction of the Roman Colosseum rather than a Greek venue. The 2004 Games was the first of two consecutive Olympic games to be held in Southern Europe since the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and was followed by the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1992 Summer Olympics</span> Multi-sport event in Barcelona, Spain

The 1992 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad and commonly known as Barcelona '92, were an international multi-sport event held from 25 July to 9 August 1992 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. This was the second "Olympic Games" to be held in a Spanish-speaking nation, then followed by the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Beginning in 1994, the International Olympic Committee decided to hold the Summer and Winter Olympics in alternating even-numbered years. The 1992 Summer and Winter Olympics were the last games to be staged in the same year. This games was the second and last two consecutive Olympic games to be held in Western Europe after the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France held five months earlier.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1956 Summer Olympics</span> Multi-sport event in Melbourne, Australia

The 1956 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, from 22 November to 8 December 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which were held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1956.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2000 Summer Paralympics</span> Multi-parasport event in Sydney, Australia

The 2000 Summer Paralympic Games or the XI Summer Paralympics were held in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, between 18 and 29 October. The Sydney Paralympics was last time that the Summer Paralympics which were organized by two different Organizing Committees. In this edition, a record 3,801 athletes from 120 National Paralympic Committees participated in 551 events in 18 sports and until the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne,was the second largest sporting event ever held in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. Sydney was the eighth city to host the Olympics and the Paralympics on same venues at the same year, and the first since Barcelona 1992 that the were organized in conjunction with the Olympics. They were also the first Paralympic Games outside the Northern Hemisphere and also in Oceania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2004 Summer Paralympics</span> Multi-parasport event in Athens, Greece

The 2004 Summer Paralympics, the 12th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Athens, Greece from 17 to 28 September 2004. 3,806 athletes from 136 National Paralympic Committees competed. 519 medal events were held in 19 sports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olympic medal</span> Award given to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games

An Olympic medal is awarded to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games. There are three classes of medal to be won: gold, silver, and bronze, awarded to first, second, and third place, respectively. The granting of awards is laid out in detail in the Olympic protocols.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony</span>

The opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics took place on the evening of Friday 15 September 2000 in Stadium Australia, Sydney, during which the Games were formally opened by Governor-General Sir William Deane. As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combined the formal and ceremonial opening of this international sporting event, including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes, with an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation's culture and history. Veteran ceremonies director Ric Birch was the Director of Ceremonies while David Atkins was the Artistic Director and Producer. Its artistic section highlighted several aspects of Australian culture and history, showing Australia's flora and fauna, technology, multiculturalism, and the hopeful moment of reconciliation towards Aboriginal Australians. The ceremony had a cast of 12,687 performers, seen by a stadium audience of around 110,000.

The Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics took place on August 4, 1996, at the Centennial Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, United States at approximately 8:00 PM EDT (UTC−4). It was produced by Don Mischer. The official motto of the closing ceremony is "An American Day of Inspiration".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Australia at the 2000 Summer Paralympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Australia was the host nation for the 2000 Summer Paralympics which was held in Sydney. Australia competed in the games between 18 and 29 October. The team consisted of 285 athletes in 18 sports with 148 officials. It was the country's largest ever Paralympic delegation to a Games. Australia has participated at every Summer Paralympic Games since its inception. Australia finished at the top of the medal tally with 63 gold, 39 silver and 47 bronze medals to total 149 medals for the games. This was the first time and the only time to date that Australia has finished on top of either an Olympic or Paralympic medal tally.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olympic Games ceremony</span> Ceremonial events of the ancient and modern Olympic Games

The Olympic Games ceremonies of the Ancient Olympic Games were an integral part of these Games; the modern Olympic games have opening, closing, and medal ceremonies. Some of the elements of the modern ceremonies date back to the Ancient Games from which the Modern Olympics draw their ancestry. An example of this is the prominence of Greece in both the opening and closing ceremonies. During the 2004 Games, the medal winners received a crown of olive branches, which was a direct reference to the Ancient Games, in which the victor's prize was an olive wreath. The various elements of the ceremonies are mandated by the Olympic Charter, and cannot be changed by the host nation. This requirement of seeking the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) includes the artistic portion of opening and closing ceremonies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2022 Winter Paralympics</span> Multi-parasport event in Beijing, China

The 2022 Winter Paralympics, commonly known as Beijing 2022, was an international winter multi-sport parasports event held in Beijing, China from 4 to 13 March 2022. This was the 13th Winter Paralympic Games, as administered by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2000 Summer Olympics torch relay</span>

The 2000 Summer Olympics torch relay was the transferral of the Olympic Flame to Sydney, Australia, that built up to the 2000 Summer Olympics. The torch travelled to various island nations as part of a tour of Oceania before beginning an extensive journey around Australia. For the first time the Flame was taken underwater, with a special flare-like torch taken on a dive down to the Great Barrier Reef. At the opening ceremony the cauldron was lit by Aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2000 Summer Olympics closing ceremony</span>

The 2000 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony also known as "Let's Party!" was held on 1 October 2000 in Stadium Australia. As with the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony was directed by Ric Birch as Director of Ceremonies while David Atkins was the Artistic Director and Producer. The Closing Ceremony was attended by 114,714 people, the largest attendance in modern Olympic Games history. The ceremony celebrated Australiana; Australian cultural celebrities, icons, media, and music, with floats designed in the style of Reg Mombassa. Around 2.4 billion watched the telecast of the closing ceremony.

The closing ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, August 12 1984 at 20:00 PDT.

The closing ceremony of the 1998 Winter Olympics took place at Nagano Olympic Stadium, Nagano, Japan, on 22 February 1998. It began at 18:00 JST and finished at approximately 19:41 JST. As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combines the formal and ceremonial closing of this international sporting event, including farewell speeches and closing of the Games by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. The Olympic flame has been extinguished.


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External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg The Sydney 2000 Olympics - The official Film on YouTube
Summer Olympics
Preceded by XXVII Olympiad

Succeeded by