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Cathy Freeman

Travels from: Victoria


Sports Hero, Charity Founder and Motivational Speaker. Request Cathy Freeman for your next corporate event!

Categories: Olympians, Sports Heroes

Full Presenter Profile & Bio

Cathy Freeman OAM is one of Australia's most admired and respected athletes. She is an Australian superstar and an Australian icon.

Born in Mackay, Queensland in 1973, Freeman was the first Indigenous Australian to win a gold medal at age 16 at the 1990 Commonwealth Games while still in high school.

However, it was at the 1994 Commonwealth Games where she became one of Australia's best known sports figures by winning double Gold medals in the 200m and 400m. Cathy also became the first Australian women to run under 50 seconds for 400m in Melbourne in 1996.

At the 1996 Olympic Games, she became the sixth fastest women ever over 400m, running a Commonwealth record and winning the silver medal. (She came second to Marie-Jose Perec in arguably the greatest one lap race of all time.)

After Atlanta, Cathy Freeman won back-to-back World Championships in 400 metres in 1997 and 1999. Cathy also took the 200m and 400m National title double in 2000 at Stadium Australia.

Cathy Freeman was given the prestigious honour of lighting the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. What followed was the realisation of a dream winning the 400m and claiming Australia's 100th Olympic Gold medal. During her victory lap, she carried both the Australian and Aboriginal flags in a now iconic moment.

This was backed up by a seventh placing in the final of the 200m, and running a great anchor leg for the Australian 4 x 400m relay team finishing fifth in a new Australian record time.

Other awards and honours include:

  • voted World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards (2001)
  • the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards (2001)
  • The Don Award - Sport Australia Hall of Fame award given to the sportsperson who has most inspired the nation (2000) and voted Australian of the Year (1998).

Cathy has not been an overnight success. She attained her goals through combining hard work, commitment and natural talent. It all paid off when Cathy became a world-class athlete and won the ultimate prize in any sport - an Olympic gold medal. 

As one of Australia's most popular high profile personalities, Cathy is recognised for her modesty, free spirit and passion for her family and country. She is a national treasure for both indigenous and non indigenous Australians.

In 2007, Cathy established the Cathy Freeman Foundation, which has helped over 1600 indigenous children in remote indigenous communities to receive an education. She has formed long-standing relationships with communities in remote areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory where indigenous children did not have access to education and had little employment opportunities. This program has enabled local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island staff to deliver quality education up to year 12 level, within their local community.

Cathy Freeman delivers her keynote presentations with passion and conviction, and will motivate and inspire your audience.

Cathy Freeman - Sports Heroes

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