"Tie me Kangaroo down, Sport. Tie me Kangaroo down"
I am a very keen participant and spectator in a wide variety of sports, many of them either unique to Australia or at least not played much outside of the Commonwealth. And being a sports fan in Australia is not such a bad thing as last year we won world championships in such diverse sports as netball, rugby, cricket, tennis (Davis Cup), surfing, triathlon and hockey and many others. On this and subsequent pages you will find some information about my favourite sports and sporting heroes with links to some of my favourite websites.
My favourite spectator sports are swimming, cricket and football and I have decided to dedicate a page to each. As far as playing sports is concerned I have dabbled in many things competitively including soccer, basketball, indoor cricket and tennis but my favourite by far is netball. I am also a big fan of the Olympics...
As the world knows Sydney and Australia put on the best ever Olympic Games in 2000. Not only did we put on a party for the rest of the world but we also pulled in out greatest every medal tally of 16 Gold 27 Silver and 17 bronze. This put us in 4th place after the US, Russia and China so I guess this makes us a Superpower too!
There were many highlights during the two weeks of madness but for most Australians and many others throughout the world, Cathy Freeman's victory in the 400m was incredibly "special" as Bruce McAvaney undoubtedly said on more than one occasion! Cathy is a great sportswomen and a suitably humble and gracious "good sport" she is a credit to all Australians and especially the Aboriginal People.
Visit the one of the following sites for more information on Sydney 2000:
and the Olympics in general:
In subsequent pages I have detailed some of my long list of sporting heroes (see links below). However some others do not fit into these categories.
Some of earliest female sporting heroes were tennis players. Evonne Goolagong was a hero to all Australians in the early 70s when she began her illustrious career by beating another Australian, Margaret Court, in the final of Wimbledon. She went onto win another Wimbledon title in 1980 becoming the first mother to do so, as well as a host of other Grand Slam titles. She is certainly one of Australia's greatest ever tennis players and she also taught White Australia a thing or two about the potential and abilities of our indigenous population.
Shortly after Evonne came my other great hero, Martina Navratilova. Martina really broke the mould for female tennis players, bringing to the game incredible strength and athleticism. I believe she was also the first woman to adopt a truly professional approach to the game with trainers, psychologists and even chefs as part of her entourage. She has quite rightly earned her place as perhaps the greatest female tennis player that has ever lived. Despite never seeing her play in the flesh I have remained a huge fan over the years and was incredibly excited when I actually got to meet her and shake her hand during the Millennium March on Washington in April this year, shortly after taking this pic.
I'm also a big fan of the Australian Opals Basketball Team which has won bronze and silver medals at the last two Olympics, and especially their recently retired captain Timmsy (Michelle Timms). Timmsy also played in the US WNBA for Phoenix Mercury and was a phenomenal player. She was like a small terrier snapping at the heels of often much bigger opponents. As a consequence she is often on the receiving end, like in this famous picture from the match versus Russia at the last Olympics. My brother and I offered her a part in our "Scoring" movie a couple of years back but we haven't heard back yet!
These are some of the more useful Aussie sports sites on the www.
And on the lighter side - This Sporting Life on Triple J. Roy and HG's classic radio show which showcases the lighter side of Aussie sport
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