Official Report of the XXVII Olympiad, Sydney 2000, The Games- The Competition: Equestrian, Football, Hockey, Shooting, Weightlifting

Horton, Peter (2001) Official Report of the XXVII Olympiad, Sydney 2000, The Games- The Competition: Equestrian, Football, Hockey, Shooting, Weightlifting. Report Section. Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Australia.

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The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games began with the roaring entry of over a hundred Australian men and women riding stockhorses. This unforgettable scene encapsulated the special place the horse has in Australian folklore. From that moment the equestrian events of the Sydney 2000 Games were guaranteed to capture the hearts and minds of the nation. They also gained approval from the competitive equestrian community of the world.

Obviously equestrian events, unique as they are, centre upon the synergy between horse and rider. A third group of factors also has a central role: the various courses, arenas and jumps that make up the major adversary. Travelling the 40 km west from the centre of Sydney to the equestrian venue at Horsley Park, the first impression one got of the Sydney International Equestrian Centre was of its sheer size and colour. The complex was set harmoniously in 80 ha of typical Australian hilly grassland, dotted with gum trees. The cross-country course that swept around a central hill for 7.5 km was indicated by the occasional pointed marquee that made the course resemble a mediaeval battlefield. This proved to be more than a flight of fancy for some during the cross country section of the two three-day events.


Winning from behind and form-shattering results seemed to be the norm in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games football competition. Football is the most popular team sport played in the world. With the relaxation of the amateur regulation and the inclusion of the women's competition in the Olympic Games, the 'world game' has also become one of the most popular and thrilling Olympic sports.

Although 2000 marked a hundred years of Olympic football, the first Games to include women's football were those in Atlanta, where also the first Olympic gold medal in the sport went to an African nation. The Sydney 2000 Games continued the challenge to the traditional order, when underdogs Cameroon and Norway, respectively, beat their more fancied rivals, Spain and the USA, in the men's and women's finals.


The sophisticated, extremely technical, modern game of hockey has its origins in ancient times. As with many team sports, the game was formalised in Britain in the late 19th century. Today it is highly scientific and professional. The sport was first contested at the Olympic Games in 1908, though it was not until 1928, at Amsterdam, that it became a permanent feature for men. Despite being an entrenched feature of women's sport, and particularly girls' school sport throughout the world, it was not until 1980 that women entered the Olympic hockey competition.


Although one of the original sports of the modern Olympic Games, there is nothing old-fashioned about shooting. It has advanced from the days of paper targets and manual scoring to the electronic targets and computerised scoring systems used for the 2000 Olympic Games. The Cecil Park complex, set in native bush and grassland, is one of the finest shooting venues in the world. It boasted state-of-the-art technological support and excellent facilities for competitors and spectators.

Shooting is such a precise sport that the slightest error, loss of concentration or equipment failure can prove to be disastrous. How shooters react to peripheral factors such as the wind, the light and spectators often decides who wins or loses. The performances of Australian shooters Michael Diamond, trap and Russell Mark, double trap clearly demonstrated this. Russell Mark relaxed too early and lost, after leading by three points, over the last ten targets. Michael Diamond, defending Olympic champion, performed perfectly under immense pressure from the sell-out audience and the whole nation, the presence of the Australian Prime Minister and his own high expectations. He harnessed all his reserves and blitzed the field in the men's trap competition, winning by five targets.


In ancient times women were forbidden from watching, let alone participating in, the Olympic Games. Even when they did make their debut at the Olympic Games in 1900, there was a limit to what they could do – femininity had to be upheld at all times. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games women celebrated 100 years of participation in Olympic competition, with more women competing in more sports and events than ever before. Women's weightlifting featured on the Olympic program for the first time, and captivated the audience with tight duels and record-breaking performances.

Item ID: 18316
Item Type: Report (Report Section)
ISBN: 978-0-9579616-0-9
Keywords: Olympic Games, Sydney, competition, reports
Additional Information:

Report Sections: Equestrian: pages 206-211 Football: pages 216-219 Hockey, pages 232-235 Shooting, pages 256-259 Weightlifting, pages 288-293.

Funders: SOCOG
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2011 01:42
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 70%
13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education @ 60%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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