The Freeman smile

 

Freeman Facts

  Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman was born on February 16th 1973.

  Cathy was born in Mackay, Queensland. She was the third child of Cecilia and Norman Freeman.

  Cathy has three brothers, Gavin (b. 1961), Norman (1974) and Garth (1976). Her sister, Anne-Marie (1966) passed away in 1990.

  Her father Norman was an outstanding athlete. He spent much of his adult sporting life  travelling all over Queensland playing football.

  During his football career, Norman was known as "Twinkle Toes" because of his speed and athleticism.


Early portrait

  Cathy's late grandfather, Frank Fisher was also an outstanding rugby player.

  In 1978, Cathy's father left home, and a year later a lodger, Bruce Barber, came to stay with Cecilia and never left.

  Bruce Barber was to have a profound effect on Cathy's career. He set up a training programme for her and provided a great deal of support and encouragement.

  Cathy's first race was in an 80 metre sprint for eight year olds at St Joseph's School  in 1981. Cathy represented the Gold House and won the race easily.

  Her first club was Slade Point Amateur Athletics club in Mackay, which she joined in 1984 when she was 11. The club now competes on the Cathy Freeman Athletics Track.


A charming young athlete

  By 1984, newspapers in northern Queensland were referring to Freeman as the 'wonder girl' from Mackay.

  Cathy's first athletics coach was Romanian Mike Danila. He provided a strict training regime for the young athlete.

  In 1988, Cathy was awarded a scholarship to an exclusive girls' school, Fairholme College in Toowoomba. Cathy was one of only three aboriginal students in a school enrolment of 600.

  Later in 1998 she and brother Norman, whose running was also being noticed by national sports officials, were chosen for an International Athletics Exchange tour to the United States.

  In a competition in 1989, Cathy ran 11.67s in the 100 metres and Danila began to think about entering her in the Commonwealth Games Trials in Sydney.


Cathy's running style appeared effortless

  During relay training for the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Cathy kept dropping the baton and team officials considered omitting Cathy from the squad. The other girls complained, Cathy held her place ....... and the rest is history.

  On February 3 1990, at the tender age of sixteen, Cathy won her first gold medal at a major meet. She was a triumphant member of the Australian 4x100m relay team that won gold at the  Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

  Three days after returning home from the Commonwealth Games, Cathy was shattered with the tragic news that her sister, Anne-Marie, had passed away. At the funeral, Cathy made a vow that her future athletic efforts would be dedicated to her sister, Anne-Marie.

  In 1991, with encouragement from Nick Bideau, a Melbourne journalist, Cathy moved to Melbourne to take advantage of the superior  training facilities and better competition.

  It was Bideau who introduced Freeman to athletics coach Peter Fortune who would become Cathy's coach for the rest of her career.


The Freeman focus

  Cathy's first full time job was serving behind the counter at Melbourne's General Post Office.

  In 1990, Cathy was named Young Australian of the Year.

  In 1991, she was named as the Aboriginal Athlete of the Year.

  In 1992, Cathy became the first Aboriginal track athlete to represent Australia at the Olympics.

  In 1994, Freeman won the Gold Medal in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.


Freeman in 1999

  Freeman became the centre of a controversy at the 1994 Commonwealth Games after parading with both the Aboriginal and Australian flags during her victory laps.

  Freeman went on to take out the 200m and 400m double at the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games, in Canada.

  Although Freeman had already tasted success, it was in 1995 that she really announced herself on the world stage. People began taking notice of this young Australian when she finished fourth in the 400 metres at the World Championships in Gothenburg.

  In 1996, Cathy became the first Australian woman to break the 50 second barrier for 400 metres in Melbourne.

  Cathy won the silver medal in the 400 metres final at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. France's Marie-Jose Perec won the gold medal in 48.25 sec. Freeman's time was 48.63 sec.


A memorable moment

  A short time after Atlanta, Freeman beat Perec over 400m in the 1996 European Circuit in Brussels.

  In 1996, Freeman was named Australian Sports Personality of the Year.

  In 1997, Cathy won her first World Championship in the 400 metres at Athens.

  In 1997, Cathy was announced as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Sportswoman of the Year.

  In 1997, Cathy was Ranked fifth best Australian sportsperson of all time, behind Don Bradman, Dawn Fraser, Greg Norman & Kieran Perkins.


Sydney press conference

  In 1997, in a Newspoll, Freeman was voted most admired woman in Australia, ahead of Hazel Hawke, Dawn Fraser and Sara Henderson.

  From 1996-1998, Cathy won 22 consecutive 400m finals.

  In 1998, a heel injury dogged her European campaign and forced her to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games.

  In 1998, Cathy was named Australian of the Year. She became the first recipient of this award to have already won the Young Australian of the Year award.

  In 1998, Cathy Freeman was listed in the International Who's Who for the first time.


A childhood dream
is about to be fulfilled

  In 1998, Cathy was beaten at the Oslo Grand Prix ending a 22 race winning streak in 400 metres finals that had run since 1996.

  In 1998, Freeman broke her partnership with Manager, Nick Bideau and Coach, Peter Fortune temporarily. Team Freeman was reunited in 1999 before the World Championships in Seville.

  In 1999, Cathy won her second consecutive World Championship in the 400 metre final in Seville, Spain. She won in a world class time of 49.67 seconds.

  Cathy was also honoured at Seville. She carried the Australian team flag at the Opening Ceremony.

  In 1999, Cathy married Nike executive, Sandy Bodecker. The marriage ended in 2003.


Carrying the Australian flag at World Championships in Seville

  On September 15th 2000, Cathy became the first competitor in Olympic history to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. The images of Cathy performing that feat will forever linger in the minds of millions of people throughout the world.

  It could also be said that Cathy became the first athlete to light the cauldron and win a gold medal at the same Olympics.

  Perhaps the greatest moment in Cathy's wonderful career took place on September 25th 2000 at the Sydney Olympics.

  In front of a crowd of over 111 000 people, Freeman won the gold medal in the 400 metres.

  After her victory, Freeman once again paraded the Australian and Aboriginal flags on her victory lap. This time she had permission from Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the I.O.C.


Cathy on her victory lap at the 2000 Sydney Olympics

  In winning the gold medal in Sydney, Freeman won the 100th gold medal won by Australians at the modern Olympic Games.

  She was also the first Aboriginal Australian to win a gold medal in an individual Olympic event. Nova Perris had already won a gold medal as a member of the Australian womens hockey team.

  In Sydney, Freeman also finished 7th in the 200m final and 5th in the 4x400m relay.

  In recognition of her win in Sydney, Cathy was voted as providing  the ESPY Most Memorable Moment of the Year for 2000.

  After her victory in Sydney, Cathy took 15 months off from training and athletics.


Cathy receives her
ESPY Award

  !n 2000 Cathy also won the International Athletics Foundation Inspiration Award.

  After her Sydney success, Cathy decided to have a break from athletics. She did not resume training until November 2001. Her first race back was a low key 100m on February 21st 2002.

  In 2001, Cathy was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport's Living Legends Gallery.

  In 2001, Cathy was presented with the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman Of The Year award.

  In 2001, Cathy was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Australia Day honours.


Manchester 2002

  In 2001, Cathy won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the prestigious ESPY Awards.

  In 2002, Cathy announced that she would not compete at the  Commonwealth Games in Manchester, preferring to care for her cancer-stricken husband instead.

  She later decided to run at Manchester in the 4x400m relay team. In a thrilling finish to the athletics program, the women's 4x400 metre relay team, Lauren Hewitt, Cathy Freeman, Tamsyn Lewis and Jana Pittman ran a sensational race, crossing the line in a new games record of 3:25.63 to win the gold medal. Cathy clocked 51.44 on her leg.

  In July 2002, Cathy launched her own Website: Click here to visit her site.

  In 2003, Cathy lost a 400m race to Jana Pittman. It was Freeman's first defeat over 400m since 1998. A span of 1712 days and 24 races over 400 metres.


Winning a heat of 400m at Telstra Series, Brisbane 2003

  On 24th May 2003, Cathy ran what would be her last ever race. She placed 5th over 400m in a time of 51.70 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

  On July 15th 2003, Cathy Freeman announced her retirement from athletics.

  During her career, Cathy recorded her personal best times as follows:-
  100m  11.24 secs   1994
  200m  22.25 secs   1994
  300m  36.42 secs   2003
  400m  48.63 secs   1996

  During one period from 1996 to 2003, Cathy lost one race over 400 metres. In that period, she raced 47 times for 46 wins. A truly magnificent performance!

  Cathy has a tattoo on her right shoulder which says - 'cos I'm free. It inspired Andy White to write a song by the same title and sung by Aboriginal singer, Christine Anu.


'Cos I'm free

 

 

 

 

 



 

On July 15th 2003, Cathy Freeman announced her retirement from athletics. After months of speculation and rumour, Cathy's announcement was not entirely unexpected. Since her return to full time training following a fifteen month layoff after her Sydney triumph, Freeman struggled to overcome injuries and recapture the hunger and desire to compete again on the world stage.

The following are excerpts from either Cathy's announcement or from comments she made to the media in the days following her retirement.

"It is a relief," Freeman said. "My heart's not in it. I feel sad because it is hard letting go of something so special and so dear. It hasn't been easy to get to the point I'm at now. It is definitely something I have felt for a while. I don't think I am ever going to experience again the wonderful highs that I have already experienced in my career. So I don't think I need to go on."

"Slowly but surely I have come to realize that I could not go through it all again."

"My goal from when I was a little girl was always to win an Olympic gold medal and to have done so in Australia and also have the honour of lighting the cauldron was more than I could have ever hoped for."

"I have been honoured to have represented my country and receive so much support over the years from people the world over and for that I will be eternally grateful.  I also want to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, coach, advisors and sponsors for their support over the years.  They have been amazing."

"I can't find the words that mean enough in terms of how grateful I am for the way that good folks have let me into their minds and hearts and into their memories."

Sports Card World recognizes Cathy Freeman as an Australian icon. An athlete who rose from humble beginnings to succeed at the highest level in her chosen sport. We proudly present this tribute to a unique and special Australian.

Cathy Freeman was born Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman on February 16th 1973 in Mackay, Queensland. In addition to Cathy, her parents, Norman and Cecilia had four other children, Gavin (1961), Anne-Marie (1966), Norman (1974) and Garth (1976).

Cathy's parents struggled to maintain a stable relationship. Although the family was close, Norman spent long periods away from home playing football all over Queensland. His struggle with alcoholism eventually began to take a toll on his health and his marriage to Cecilia was  under considerable strain. Norman finally left in 1978, and a year later Bruce Barber came to stay with the family as a lodger. At first he was not accepted by the children, and later, when he announced that he wanted to marry Cecilia, the children were particularly upset and angry. At that time, they were unaware of the part that Bruce would play in shaping Cathy's future athletic career.

From a very early age, Cathy Freeman dreamt of one day winning a gold medal at the Olympics. However, her first race was a just little less glamorous.  It was an 80 metre sprint for eight year olds at St Joseph's School. And she almost missed out on starting that race. Shortly before the start, she was poked in the eye by a piece of wire. Even though she was in some discomfort, Cathy ran in the race and recorded an easy victory for her school House.

From a very early age, Cathy Freeman dreamt that one day she would win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. That dream came true on September 25th 2000. In her own country, and in front of 112000 adoring fans, Cathy fulfilled her destiny.

Throughout her childhood, Cathy exhibited tremendous natural athletic ability. So too did her siblings, particularly her younger brother, Norman who was also an exceptional runner.

Bruce Barber watched Cathy run and commented frequently that the symmetry of her movement reminded him of a champion racehorse. He had little idea of coaching methods, so he wrote away to state school sporting officials requesting assistance to establish a training programme. He and Cecilia sacrificed a great deal for the children. They battled tirelessly in fund-raising ventures so that Cathy and Norman could compete in athletic carnivals all over the state and country.

By the time Cathy was eleven, local newspapers in northern Queensland were describing her as the 'wonder girl' from Mackay. A little later, she was fortunate to be coached by Romanian, Mike Danila who claimed that he had never seen so much talent in a young athlete. Cathy's association with Danila provided a disciplined programme that prepared her well for the path ahead.

In 1988, Cathy was awarded a scholarship to exclusive Fairholme College in Toowoomba. She was only one of three aboriginal children in a school population of over six hundred. Later that year, she and brother Norman were chosen for an International Athletics Exchange tour of the United States. It was a wonderful experience for Cathy who became aware of the many rewards that a successful athletic career could bring. By 1999, she was beginning to record impressive times, including a time of 11.67 seconds for 100 metres. A time that began to lift a few eyebrows. Danila considered entering her in the Commonwealth Games Trials in Sydney.

Cathy eventually was selected in Australia's 4x100 metre relay team for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Although Cathy struggled in training and dropped the baton repeatedly, she managed to hold her place on the team. On February 3rd, at the tender age of sixteen, Cathy Freeman won her first gold medal at a major meet. Australia's 4x100 metre relay team won the gold medal from England.

Shortly after returning home from her triumphant victory, Cathy was confronted with the tragic news that her sister, Anne-Marie had died. It was shattering news. When Cathy returned to school and resumed athletic training, she was determined to dedicate her future efforts to Anne-Marie.

During her short career, a Melbourne journalist, Nick Bideau, had become very interested in Cathy. After some personal encounters and a number of articles about the budding young athlete, he suggested a move to Melbourne where better training facilities and tougher competition would advance Cathy's career.

Shortly after moving to Melbourne, Bideau introduced Cathy to athletics coach, Peter Fortune who would become Freeman's coach for the rest of her career. Team Freeman; Bideau, Fortune and Freeman had been formed. And the Barcelona Olympics presented the next big challenge.

Barcelona Olympics
1992

Birmingham
1993

Commonwealth Games
1994

Although Freeman's performance at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was disappointing, the experience gained was invaluable. Freeman easily made it through to the second round, but she ran poorly and failed to make the semi-finals.

The post Barcelona period took Freeman on an emotional roller-coaster. There was more personal tragedy for Freeman. News reached her in London that her father had died of a stroke. Freeman did not cope well with the news. To make matters worse, Freeman was unable to secure a flight home in time for the funeral.

On the athletics front, Cathy's rivalry with sprinter, Melinda Gainsford had caught the imagination of the Australian press. Although Team Freeman's goal was to prepare for a double assault on the 200m, 400m double at the up-coming Commonwealth Games, the rivalry with Gainsford was a distraction for Freeman. But the public and media loved it. And it certainly raised Freeman's public profile.

Freeman trademark
Victoria, Canada 1994

The 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada were an outstanding success for Freeman. With the exception of the 4x400m relay in which the Australian team was disqualified, Freeman won gold medals in both the 200m and 400m. And there was controversy! After her victories, Freeman carried both the aboriginal and Australian flags on her victory laps. The reaction from some media and team officials, including controversial Arthur Tunstall was extremely critical. But it was to become a Freeman trademark. One that would be repeated many times during her brilliant career.

Freeman's exploits in Victoria certainly announced her arrival on the world 400m stage. Her times were beginning to raise eyebrows all over the world, and her performances in the year following the Commonwealth Games were sensational.

1995 brought mixed fortunes for Cathy. Although her public profile was very high during the Australian season, her form was inconsistent. The major meet leading up to the '96 Atlanta Olympics was the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. Cathy promised much, but she failed to produce in the final. Her fourth position, just outside the medals was a shattering result. Once again, however, she would learn from the experience, particularly in her ability to pace herself during a 400 metre run.

In the lead up to Atlanta, Cathy's fitness and training were almost perfect. She had also learnt a great deal about the art of running 400 metres. Team Freeman had developed her strategy to run the first 200m at a fast pace, attack the third hundred and then finish on strongly over the final 100 metres. These tactics proved very successful. She was ready for her assault on France's Marie-Jose Perec and a shot at gold in Atlanta.

The final of the 400 metres at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Marie-Jose Perec (France) wins from Cathy Freeman

At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Cathy made it through the heats and semi-finals quite comfortably. The runners in the final represented a who's who of 400 metre runners; Breuer in 1, Davis in 2, Perec in 3, Freeman in 4, Ogunkoya in 5, Yusuf in 6, Richards in 7 and Miles in 8. Cathy ran a sensational race. It was only in the final stretch that Perec stamped her authority on the race, winning by three metres in a time of 48.25 secs. Cathy won the silver medal in a personal best time of 48.63 secs. A little over a month later, Freeman was to defeat Perec in a 400m race at Brussels on the European circuit.

Images of Atlanta 1996
 

 Home-ward bound

 Atlanta charm

Silver medal

Between the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics, Freeman was to dominate 400m events around the world. Although she faced a few personal problems, including a break-up in her personal relationship with Nick Bideau, Cathy was to take out consecutive World Championships. The first in 1997 in Greece and the second at Seville in Spain in 1999.

Before the 1997 World Championships, Cathy was to begin a relationship with future husband and Nike executive, Alexander "Sandy" Bodecker. In 1998, she was honoured to receive the Australian of the Year Award, becoming the first person to win the award after being named Young Australian of the Year in 1991.

There was only one thing missing!  And Sydney 2000 was to change all of that!

World Championships
 

 1995 Gothenburg, Sweden

 1997 Athens, Greece

 1999 Seville, Spain

For Cathy Freeman there were two golden moments in Sydney.

The first took place on September 15th at Stadium Australia. At the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, one of the best kept secrets in Australian sport was revealed. Who would be given the great honour of lighting the flame? For months, speculation had been rife. Would it be Dawn Fraser or Betty Cuthbert, Shane Gould or Kieran Perkins? Or would it be any one of a host of worthy Australian sporting heroes?

As torch bearer Herb Elliott approached the stadium, the sequence that followed was to enthrall the capacity crowd and provide unforgettable  images to billions of television viewers all over the world. The torch was passed from Betty Cuthbert and Raelene Boyle to Dawn Fraser to Shirley Srickland-de la Hunty, Shane Gould, Debbie Flintoff-King and finally ......... to Cathy Freeman! For the first time in Olympic history a current competitor would light the cauldron in a dramatic demonstration of national unity.

Although it was a tremendous honour for Cathy to light the flame, it inevitably increased the pressure on her performance in the 400 metres. She would be burdened with the expectations of an entire nation!

 

Seconds after lighting the flame, Cathy Freeman steps into the centre of a circle of flame. Moments later the cauldron rises above her head and is elevated to the top of Stadium Australia where it will burn brightly for the duration of the games.

The second golden moment came on September 25th........the final of the 400 metres. As she entered the stadium, Cathy appeared calm and composed. She went through her pre-race routine. Cathy maintained her focus and kept her emotions in check. When the gun sounded, she uncoiled and the roar was deafening. During the next 49.11 seconds, Cathy never looked in danger of defeat. Not for a moment! She paced herself perfectly throughout the race. Freeman led into the straight and powered to the finishing line without a challenge. A childhood dream had been realized!

Images of Sydney 2000
 

400 m heat

The final

The finish

Soon after crossing the finishing line, Freeman sat down on the track in a flurry of emotions. Joy, relief and shock swept through her body and etched a look of disbelief on her face. When she regained her composure, a wave of euphoria swept her up and carried her on an unforgettable victory lap. Both the aboriginal and Australian flags appeared from nowhere and accompanied her on the journey.

And a proud nation responded in grateful and thunderous applause! 

Images of Sydney 2000
 

Disbelief

Victory lap

Victory dais

"It is a mixture of sadness and relief for everyone. It is the end of a significant era in Australian athletics. She has been a dominant force on the track for this country for a long time and has been a groundbreaker in so many ways."

Peter Fortune (Cathy Freeman's coach)

"Her victory in the 400 metres at the Sydney Olympics was one of the great sporting events of our generation. I think she's been a wonderful Australian, is a wonderful Australian. I don't think there could be any greater accolade for anybody."

John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia

"We acknowledge the great contribution that she's made to her sport, the Olympic movement in this country and, of course, the success of the Sydney Olympic Games. She is truly a great Olympic champion and has always been a wonderful role model."

John Coates, Australian Olympic Committee President

"She has done what no other Australian has done which is take everything on her shoulders and deliver. Others have won Wimbledon or Olympic gold medals but they didn't have to take on the expectation of the whole nation."

Keith Connor (Athletics Australia's head coach)

"Cathy became a potent symbol of the struggle for reconciliation between black and white Australians. I think that she is a person committed to reconciliation in this country and using her sport and her presence to advance that cause."

Simon Crean, Federal Opposition Leader

"Cathy deserves to be remembered as one of the country's finest athletes. You would compare her with the greats of athletics like the Betty Cuthberts, the Marjorie Jacksons and the Shirley Stricklands."

Dawn Fraser, Australian swimming legend

"Cathy Freeman is an outstanding Australian sportswoman. Who can forget the joy she brought to all Australians during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She will long be remembered not only for her wonderful victories but for her tenacity and generosity of spirit."

Marjorie Jackson-Nelson
Former Olympic champion and Governor of South Australia

"She is a great Australian who brought great credit to her country. I know people will think: 'Oh, he is just saying it.' But anybody that can bring credit to their country, whether they are Chinese, Aboriginal or whatever they are, are great Australians."

Arthur Tunstall (Out-spoken sports administrator)

"She's been a fantastic athlete for Australia and for herself."

Ricky Ponting (Australian cricketer)

"I just hope Cathy is happy with her decision. It is a sad day for track and field in Australia and also the world and for a very proud Australian public. But they just see the individual getting out and racing every now and then. They don't see the hours and hours and hours of hard work that go into the performance on the track."

Raelene Boyle (Former Australian sprint champion)

"I had a long chat with her a year after she took gold in Sydney and she just was not the same person. You cannot be after you go through what she went through. Most people are able to adapt their lives to becoming a world-class athlete, but becoming a national icon is another matter."

Steve Cram (Former British great)

"One of our greatest heroes has just decided she's had enough. It's special rather than sad and that's the way people should look at it. She could have given up after the Olympics but, no, she hung around and helped us."

Jana Pittman (Heir apparent)

Country: Australia        Height: 164 cm

Date of Birth: 16/02/1973       Weight: 53 kg
Place of Birth: Mackay, Queensland
Current State: Victoria
Event(s): 400 metres   Coach: Peter Fortune
Clubs: Melbourne Track Club, Ringwood

Personal best: 48.63 (Atlanta, 1996)

Career Achievements:
1990: Gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.
1990: Named Young Australian of the Year.
1991: Named Aboriginal Athlete of the Year.
1992: Becomes first Australian Aboriginal track athlete to compete at Olympics.
1994: Gold in the 200m and 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
1994: Silver medal in 4x100m relay at Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
1995: Finishes third in 4x400m relay at World Championships in Gothenburg.
1996: Silver medal in 400m at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
1996-1998: Won 22 consecutive 400m finals.
1997: Gold medal at World Championships in Athens.
1998: Named Australian of the Year.
1999: Won the 400m national title in Melbourne.
1999: Gold medal at World Championships in Seville.
2000: Freeman becomes the first still-competing athlete to be given the honour of lighting the cauldron at an Olympic Games.
2000: Gold medal in 400m at the Sydney Olympic Games.
2000: Received the Laureus Female Athlete of the Year Award
2002: Gold medal in 4x400m relay at Manchester Commonwealth Games.
2003: Suffers first defeat in 400m since 1998. Beaten by Jana Pittman.
2003: July 15:  Retires from athletics
Australian Championships
100 metres '90 - 2nd, '94 - 1st, '96 - 1st
100 yards '93 - 1st
200 metres '90 - 1st, '91 - 1st, '92 - 2nd, '93 - 2nd, '94 - 1st, '95 - 2nd, '96 - 1st, '97 - 2nd, '00 - 1st
400 metres '92 - 3rd, '95 - 1st, '97 - 1st, '98 - 1st, '99 - 1st, '00 - 1st, '02 - inj, '03 - 1st
International Championships
Commonwealth Games: '90 - 4x100m 1st; '94 - 200m 1st, 400m 1st, 4x100m 2nd, 4x400m disq, '98 injured, '02 - 4x400m - 1st
IAAF Grand Prix Final: '94 - 400m - 2nd; '96 - 400m - 1st
Olympic Games: '92 - 400m - QF, 4x400m - 7th, '96 - 200m - semi, 400m - 2nd; '00 - 400m - 1st, 200m - 7th, 4x400m 5th
World Championships: '91 - 4x100m DNC, '93 - 200m - semi, '95 - 400m - 4th, 4x400m - 3rd, 200m - semi, '97 - 1st, 4x100m heat, '99 - 400m -1st, 4x400m - 6th
World Cup: '94 - 200m - 3rd, 4x100m - 3rd, 4x400m - 6th
World Junior Championships: '90 - 200m - 5th, 100m - semi, 4x100m - 5th, '92 - 200m - 2nd, 4x400m 6th
World Indoor Championships: '93 - 60m heat, 200m heat disq; '99 - 400m DNC, 4x400m 2nd
Records

Australian and Commonwealth Record - 400m - 48.63 (29/7/96)
Australian Record - 4x400m - 3:23.81 (30/9/00)
Australian U20 Record - 400m - 51.14 (28/6/92)
Australian U20 Record - 200m - 22.62 (23/1/93)

Freeman has set nine open Australian records:
200m (2) 22.32 22/7/94, 22.25 26/8/94;
400m (6) 50.18 2/8/94, 50.04 3/9/94, 49.85 29/2/96, 49.81 5/7/96, 49.59 12/7/96, 48.63 29/7/96;
4x400m (1) 3:23.81 30/9/00.

400m Finals: Winning Streaks
1996-1998 - 21 races,
1999-2003 25 races.
Overall
46 wins from 47 races stretching from 23/8/96 - 8/3/03). This sequence was broken when she was beaten at the 1998 Oslo Grand Prix, when suffering from a foot injury.

If you ask an Australian to name their most memorable sporting moment, you would probably get a variety of different answers. Great moments in cricket, football (four different codes), horseracing, yachting, athletics and swimming would all rate a mention. And there would be many, many more! However, one thing is for certain: Cathy Freeman winning a gold medal in the 400 metres at the Sydney Olympics would be right up there!

There is no doubt that Cathy Freeman should leave athletics with absolutely no regrets. What Cathy has been able to achieve in her career is quite remarkable given her humble beginnings.

However, most Australian will remember Cathy Freeman for the way she went about achieving her goals rather than the actual triumphs.

Australians will remember her as charming, humble, engaging, infectious, determined, courageous, free-spirited and funny.  A very talented athlete who battled the odds and reached the highest pinnacle in her chosen sport.

Cathy has been all those things, and more. She has been an inspiration to all Australians, from all walks of life. She will remain a role model for all those who have a dream and dare to exercise their natural right to make the most of their abilities.

Sports Card World congratulates Cathy Freeman on her achievements and wishes her every happiness in her future life.

Thanks, Cathy.  You are a true champion!

Queen Elizabeth meets Cathy Freeman during the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.