• Sydney 2000

Sydney 2000 - Quick Hits

ESPN staff
October 12, 2011
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It was a mixture of agony and ecstasy as Matthew Pinsent, Tim Foster, Steven Redgrave and James Cracknell won gold in the coxless fours © Getty Images

Beaten at last
Alexander Karelin went to Sydney looking for his fourth consecutive gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. America's Rulon Gardner deprived him of that honor by beating the Russian in the final and ending an unbeaten streak that dated back to 1987.

Perec flees
Just a few days before the women's 400 metres, which would pit double Olympic champion Marie-Jose Perec against Aussie favorite Cathy Freeman, the Frenchwoman quit Sydney and the Games, claiming to have been hounded by fans and media alike. Freeman went on to win gold in the event.

Korea, North and South
For the first time, athletes from the two Koreas paraded together at an opening ceremony. They used a banner to represent the Korean peninsula.

A late bloomer
British road cyclist Jason Queally set an Olympic record with his gold-medal-winning performance in the 1km time trial. But he didn't take to the saddle seriously until the age of 25, after stints at water polo and the triathlon.

A remarkable run
Legally blind American athlete Marla Runyan came in eighth in the women's 1500m. She is the first athlete to have competed at both an Olympics and a Paralympics. She competed in the latter in 1992 and 1996, picking up six medals along the way.

Lion's share
Kings of world football. Brazil might shake their stuff in the World Cup, but it has been a different story at the Olympics. Having come in third in 1996, they were a miserable seventh in Sydney, where Cameroon's "Indomitable Lions" won their first soccer gold.

Great assets
To help finance their Olympic preparations "the Matildas", as Australia's women's soccer players are known, posed nude for a calendar in November 1999.

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