For a young nation with a relatively small population, Australia punches above its weight when it comes to sporting prowess, innovations and world rsts. And when one of our own takes on the world and triumphs, we celebrate en masse in a blaze of national pride, waving ags and lighting up the skies with reworks.
From royals to rockers, Australians lined the streets to welcome international guests, sporting heroes and celebrities. The world came to Melbourne for the Olympics in 1956 and witnessed the emergence of a new breed of athlete who dominated the swimming pool. Australians reeled in wonder as eight of the
13 gold medals in swimming were won by Australia, and the “golden girls” Dawn Fraser, Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland captivated the public.
Sydney was the natural backdrop to many celebrations framed by sparkling blue water, the Opera
House and Harbour Bridge. It was the centrepiece for the 1988 Bicentennial, complete with tall ships.
The 2000 Olympics cemented Sydney’s place as an international city. From the opening ceremony with galloping stockmen and Nikki Webster ying across the packed stadium, to Cathy Freeman’s gold medal-winning 400 metre sprint, the Olympics were a dazzling showcase, taking a multicultural Australia to the world.