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Illuminating the Olympic cauldron 20 years after the Sydney Games in Australia

Sydney (Reuters)-Australia lit the cauldron of the 2000 Sydney Olympics on Tuesday, the 20th anniversary of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Cathy Freeman, who lit a cauldron at an Australian stadium 20 years ago and won a 400-meter gold medal, was unable to attend the morning ceremony at Sydney Olympic Park due to coronavirus restrictions.

On her behalf, two Freeman-selected teenage athletes brought the Sydney 2000 Torch to the event.

Indigenous basketball players Tenaya Logan and Paralympic Tam Cincolly raised a torch when the cauldron was lit up at Cathy Freeman Park.

“This is a very monumental thing and I’m physically very proud of the legacy left here,” Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates told reporters. It was.

“And we can be very proud of the legacy that the Sydney Olympics have left for our national sports federation, the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Five-time Olympic champion swimmer Ian Thorpe said the Olympics could inspire “all generations of athletes” ahead of potential bids for the 2032 Olympics in Queensland. ..

“And given the potential for the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, even young athletes, even those who are just starting out in sports, should be excited about the prospect,” he said.

Sydney’s opening ceremony was widely acclaimed for its indigenous performers and quirky Australian cultural references.

However, the moment Freeman lit a 7-ton cauldron, his heart was in the mouth of the whole country.

Instead of sliding down the slope to the top of the stadium, the cauldron quivered to a stop when it began its journey, before resuming a few minutes later due to the organizer’s immense relief.

Coates was monitoring the mission of the delegation of the Australian delegation in 2000 and knew something was wrong, but what was uncertain?

“I didn’t know what was wrong,” he said.

“I was thinking in my heart.’Let’s leave it there. Pretend that it will happen and pick it up the next day.'”

(Report by Ian Ransom in Melbourne, edited by Peter Rutherford)