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Cathy Freeman Visit To Manila

January: Australian golden girl and Olympic icon, Cathy Freeman, has accepted the Springboard Foundation’s invitation to visit Manila in May 2005 as the guest speaker at this year’s Live Match II event. Cathy will also visit several of the projects that Springboard oversees.

Cathy Freeman has been an inspiration for Aboriginal people since she burst on to the scene as a teenager in the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games. She is the most significant athlete ever in terms of impact across the nation.

Cathy Freeman burst into the Olympic spotlight at the 1996 Games – the first Aboriginal athlete to represent Australia. She competed in her first race at the tender age of six. Freeman became involved in athletics because she enjoyed running and winning races.

Freeman has definitely proved that she is a winner on the track time and time again. Her youth involved running twelve laps barefoot around a grassy track on a regular basis. Freeman’s mother used to encourage her to write out “I am the world’s greatest athlete”, an affirmation which was to ring true some years later. When she was thirteen years of age, Freeman told her school guidance counsellor that her vocational plan was to win an Olympic Gold. She won gold at the Commonwealth Games as part of the 4 x 100m relay team at the age of sixteen.

In 1990, she was awarded the title of Young Australian of the Year and Australian of the Year in 1998. She is the first person to receive both awards. In 1991 she was awarded Aboriginal Athlete of the Year.

In July 2003, Cathy Freeman, Australia’s greatest athlete in recent history and arguably its greatest ever, quit the sport. Freeman said the realisation had hit her that her gold medal in the Sydney Olympics, carrying the weight of the expectations of 19 million Australians, was a high point to which she could not return.

Cathy Freeman Career Highlights
At the Sydney Olympics 2000, Cathy found out first hand what it meant to have the eyes of a nation on her. Having won the last two World Championships she was expected to win gold. The entire nation stopped to watch Cathy fulfill those expectations winning the 400m in 49.11 before a crowd of 110,000 inside Stadium Australia and a massive worldwide television audience.

The pinnacle has secured Cathy’s place as a truly international personality and role model. She is a symbol of Australia and all of its people.