lightning tracker  
Pelican Waters QLD - Street Names
Olympic Lane

This plaque commemorates the 2000 Sydney Olympic, honouring the achievements of Australia's Olympic and Paralympic teams, officials and volunteers.

Olympic Logo

The Olympic Games, an international festival of sport which originated in ancient Greece, were revived in the 19th century by a French aristocrat worried by young Frenchmen not getting enough physical education at school. 

The ancient Olympics were mainly about the ruling classes preparing for war and barred women. Successive presidents of the International Olympic Committee, which Baron Pierre de Coubertin set up in 1894, were just as eager to keep the working classes and women in their place. 

De Coubertin, also troubled by the growing commercialisation of sport 100 years ago, visualised an amateur championship for the world's sportsmen. 

He took as his model the British and American upper class educational system of enlightened paternalism. 

Oxford and Cambridge university graduates had, after all, started France's first sports club at Le Havre in 1872, while lawn tennis became all the rage after being imported from Britain in 1878. 

The Greeks had twice tried to revive the Games, in 1859 and 1870, so the first Olympic Games, since the Roman emperor Theodosius had banned them in AD 393, were held in Athens. 


Of the 13 nations who had responded to de Coubertin's invitation to Paris, and the 21 who had given written support, only 12 were represented in Athens. 

The nine sports on the Olympic programme were athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, lawn tennis, shooting, swimming, weightlifting and wrestling. 

A Greek architect Georgios Averoff picked up most of the bill and many of the competitors were simply tourists visiting Athens at the time. 

James Conolly of Boston, who dropped out from Harvard to go to Athens, became the first Olympic champion in 1,527 years when he won what was then known as the hop, step and jump. 

Athens crowds were fascinated by the "crouch" start of Americans Thomas Burke, who went on to get gold, and Thomas Curtis. 

A Greek shepherd, Spiridon Louis, won the first marathon over the same course covered by Greek hero Pheidippides after the battle of Marathon in 490 BC.


The Sydney Games were the biggest with 10,651 athletes competing in 300 events but despite their size they were recognised as the best organised.

Cathy Freeman symbolised the desire to reconcile the people of Australia when she ascended to the cauldron in a cascading waterfall to light the flame.

Ten days later the Aborigine won the 400m final before an ecstatic crowd in what was to be her last major race.

Ian Thorpe has since become one of the greatest swimmers of all time but in Sydney the 17-year-old was limited to two relays golds and a silver medal in the 200m freestyle.

Dutch pair Pieter van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn stole headlines in the swimming.

Van den Hoogenband won the men's 100m and 200m while de Bruijn took double gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

Marion Jones bettered Fanny Blankers-Koen's 1948 achievements when she became the first woman to win five medals in athletics in the same Olympics with gold medals in 100m and 200m and 4x400m relay and bronze in the long jump and 4x100m relay.

She was stripped of the lot and sent to jail for six months after admitting to taking banned drugs

Britain's Steven Redgrave became the first rower to win gold medals at five consecutive Olympics.

French judo great David Douillet, who had been sidelined for a year by shoulder and back problems, won his second consecutive Olympic title, beating Shinichi Shinohara of Japan in a controversial final.

Korea (South Korea) and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) marched together under the same flag while four athletes from newly-independent East Timor took part.

Vietnam won their first medal since they began competing in 1952 when Hieu Ngan Tran captured silver in women's taekwondo.

And Susanthika Jayasinghe's 200 metres bronze made her the first Sri Lankan woman to win a medal. 


Return to Street Names

  © Jasprit Design 2009 Disclaimer