©Getty Mike Powell
Family name: Freeman
Given names: Catherine Astrid Salome, known as “Cathy”
Date and place of birth: 16 February 1973 in Mackay (Australia)
Atlanta 1996: silver in the 400m
Sydney 2000: gold in the 400m
Cathy Freeman was an athlete who made an indelible mark on Australian and international sport. She was the first Australian aboriginal to win an Olympic medal in an individual event, taking silver in the 400m at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. She also won a gold medal at the athletics World Championships in 1997 and 1999, again in her favourite event: the 400m. At the Olympic Games in Sydney, she was chosen to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. A few days later, she won a historic gold medal in the 400m and became a source of national pride and a symbol of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
The shoes she wore to win her Olympic gold medal were special, featuring the colours of the aboriginal flag: black for the people, yellow for the sun and red for the earth. These shoes are today on show at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne (Switzerland).