Sixteen years ago, Cathy Freeman slowed across the finish line of the 400m Women’s Final ahead of all her competitors. And made history.
To say the nation reacted with joy would be an understatement. Try ‘exhilaration’. Or ‘ecstasy’.
It didn’t feel like it was only her triumph. It was ours.
Now, in a deeply personal story she crafted with The Moth for the podcast Fighting For Fair, Cathy reflects on the family revelation that made her view that run – and her life – through a completely different lens.
You can listen, here:
On that day – Friday, September 22, 2000 – her famous victory lap of the Olympic stadium saw her join the Australian and Aboriginal flags into one powerful statement.
It was symbolic of her reaching a point where Cathy could represent a nation which, only 40 years before, had robbed her culture of not only their children, but their identity.
"My identity was attached to a negative set of thoughts," she says. It was attached to a childhood of repression. Of anguish.