Almost 12 years after the Games finished, Sydney Olympic Park – which housed a number of key Olympic venues – is now a thriving commercial, residential and sporting precinct, with the Olympic Stadium hosting the Rugby World Cup final in 2003 and the indoor arena regularly staging major events including international pop concerts.
The sports facilities are used by both local and national sports organisations including rugby, netball, Australian rules, football, volleyball, tennis, swimming and equestrian, while many of the venues, such as the swimming centre, are also open to the public.
"There has been a lot of commercial development at the Olympic Park precinct and all of the sports venues have been maintained. It's pretty impressive," said John Coates, the former Senior Vice-President of the Sydney 2000 Organising Committee, on the 10th anniversary of the Games in 2010.
The success of the 2000 Olympic Games also left a lasting economic legacy for the people of Sydney.
“The capability of Australia to successfully stage the Summer Olympic Games brought the world’s attention to the capabilities of Australian companies and individuals in a way not otherwise possible,” explained Sydney Olympic Park Authority CEO Alan Marsh to Olympic.org. “This includes events companies, choreographers, construction firms, fireworks providers and more. This expertise is now an integral part of many international events, reaping economic benefits for Australian companies.”
As well as tangible legacies, such as the new venues, the Games also provided a number of intangible legacies, including an increased sense of national pride and the shared experience of hosting one of the most important events in the world.
“To me, the legacy lies in those intangible qualities such as the stories that people have to tell now because of the Olympic Games,” explained Australia’s 400m gold medallist Cathy Freeman in an interview in March 2012. “These are stories that can be passed on from generation to generation. For example, the night of my race, people are still talking about that event and it happened 12 years ago. People are still excited; people are still in that moment.”
Coates also believes that the pride gained from 2000 is an important legacy of the Games.
"Australians in sport, Australians in corporate life and Australian governments derived a sense of self-confidence from the Games," he said in 2010. "The world took notice of Australia and how we conducted the Games. People still talk about it."