Going for gold: looking back at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 20 years on – in pictures

Going for gold: looking back at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 20 years on – in pictures

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Going for gold: looking back at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 20 years on – in pictures

Going for gold: looking back at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 20 years on – in pictures

The torch relay, Fatso the wombat, Cathy Freeman’s winning sprint and an opening ceremony that stopped the nation: these photographs capture a golden moment

    The mascots for the Sydney Olympics – Millie the Echidna, Syd the Platypus and Olly the Kookaburra – make their first public appearance on 28 May 2000.

    Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images

    The mascots for the Sydney Olympics – Millie the Echidna, Syd the Platypus and Olly the Kookaburra – make a grand entrance at their first public appearance on 28 May.

    More than 2,000 members of the media covered the Sydney Olympics.

    Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

    Photographers take aim as the Games progress. More than 2,000 members of the media covered the Sydney Olympics.

    Tennis stars Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt at the opening ceremony.

    Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Tennis stars Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt at the Opening Ceremony.

    Nova Peris poses with the Olympic flame in front of Uluru during the torch relay.

    Photograph: Nick Wilson/Getty Images

    Nova Peris poses with the Olympic flame in front of Uluru during the torch relay.

    Fatso the wombat, the unofficial mascot of the Sydney Olympic Games, is seen at Olympic Park.

    Photograph: Saberwyn

    Fatso the wombat, the unofficial mascot of the Sydney Olympic Games, is seen at Olympic Park.

    Singer Nikki Webster at the opening ceremony.

    Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

    Singer Nikki Webster at the opening ceremony.

    Tennis doubles partners Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge display their Olympic silver medals after being defeated by Canadians Sébastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor.

    Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

    Tennis doubles partners Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge display their Olympic silver medals after being defeated by Canadians Sebastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor.

    Australian pole vault champion Tatiana Grigorieva salutes the crowd after receiving a silver medal.

    Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

    Australian pole vault champion Tatiana Grigorieva salutes the crowd after receiving a silver medal.

    A team of surf lifesavers carry an oversized spool of rope during the Olympics closing ceremony.

    Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

    A team of surf lifesavers carry an oversized spool of rope during the Olympics closing ceremony.

    Australia’s team parade around the International Equestrian Centre after winning gold in three-day eventing.

    Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

    Australia’s show jumping team parade around the International Equestrian Centre after winning gold in three-day eventing.

    Cathy Freeman holds the Olympic torch after lighting the cauldron at Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

    Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

    Cathy Freeman holds the Olympic torch after lighting the cauldron at Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

    Cathy Freeman in action during the women’s 400m final, in which she won gold.

    Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

    Cathy Freeman in action during the women’s 400m final, in which she won gold.

    Australian marksman Michael Diamond pulls gold in the men’s trap shooting.

    Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

    Australian marksman Michael Diamond pulls gold in the men’s trap shooting.

    Marine biologist Wendy Craig Duncan carries the Olympic torch underwater on the Great Barrier Reef using a specially designed flare.

    Photograph: Steve Nutt/AAP

    Marine biologist Wendy Craig Duncan carries the Olympic flame under water in the Great Barrier Reef using a specially designed flare.

    America’s Maurice Greene comes in first with Matt Shirvington and Ato Boldon close behind during the men’s semi-finals 100m event.

    Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    American Maurice Greene comes in first with Matt Shirvington and Ato Boldon close behind during the men’s Semi-Finals 100m event.

    The cauldron containing the Olympic flame rises above torchbearer Cathy Freeman during the opening ceremony.

    Photograph: Inpho Photography/Getty Images

    The cauldron containing the Olympic flame rises above torch bearer Cathy Freeman during the opening ceremony.

    Australian swimmers Ashley Callus, Chris Fydler, Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe celebrate after winning gold in the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre.

    Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

    (L-R) Australian swimmers Ashley Callus, Chris Fydler, Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe celebrate after winning gold in the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre.

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