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Cathy Freeman

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Nickname(s)  Cath
Name  Cathy Freeman
Nationality  Australian
Role  Sprinter

Height  164 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Books  Born to Run
Weight  56 kg (8 st 11 lb)
Children  Ruby Anne Susie Murch
Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Full name  Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman
Born  16 February 1973 (age 42) (1973-02-16) Slade Point, Mackay, Queensland
Education  Kooralbyn International school, Fairholme College, University of Melbourne
Olympic medals  Athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympics – Women's 400 metres
Awards  Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year
Spouse  James Murch (m. 2009), Sandy Bodecker (m. 1999–2003)
Similar People  Sally Pearson, Marie‑Jose Perec, Betty Cuthbert, Katharine Merry, Nova Peris

Biography of cathy freeman presentation

Catherine Astrid Salome "Cathy" Freeman, OAM (born 16 February 1973) is an Australian former sprinter, who specialised in the 400 metres event. She would occasionally compete in other track events, but 400m was her main event. Her personal best of 48.63 currently ranks her as the sixth fastest woman of all time, set while finishing second to Marie-Jose Perec's number-three time at the 1996 Olympics. She became the Olympic champion for the women's 400 metres at the 2000 Summer Olympics, at which she lit the Olympic Flame.


Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman Profile Awards Records Achievements

Freeman was the first Australian Indigenous person to become a Commonwealth Games gold medallist at age 16 in 1990. 1994 was her breakthrough season. At the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Freeman won gold in both the 200 m and 400 m. She also won the silver medal in the 1996 Olympics and came first at the 1997 World Championships, in the 400 m event. In 1998 Freeman took a break from running due to injury. She returned from injury in form with a first place in the 400 m at the 1999 World Championships. She announced her retirement from athletics in 2003.

Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman ThingLink

In 2007, she founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

Cathy freeman 2000 olympics


Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman and husband James Murch enjoy date night at Australian

Cathy Freeman began athletics at the age of 2. Her first coach was her stepfather, Bruce Barber. By her early teens she had a collection of regional and national titles, having competed in the 100 m, 200 m, high jump and long jump.

Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman and husband James Murch enjoy date night at Australian

In 1987, Freeman moved on to Kooralbyn International School to be coached professionally by Romanian Mike Danila, who became her first coach and later a key influence throughout her career; he provided a strict training regime for the young athlete.

Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman Larrakia 6K

In 1988, she was awarded a scholarship to an exclusive girls' school, Fairholme College in Toowoomba. In a competition in 1989, Freeman ran 11.67s in the 100 metres and Danila began to think about entering her in the Commonwealth Games Trials in Sydney.

Cathy Freeman Freeman wins 2015 IOC Women in Sport Oceania Award News iaaforg

In 1990, Freeman was chosen as a member of Australia's 4 × 100 m relay team for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand. The team won the gold medal, making Freeman the first ever Aboriginal Commonwealth Games gold medallist, as well as one of the youngest, at 16 years old. She moved to Melbourne in 1990 after the Auckland Commonwealth Games. Shortly after moving to Melbourne Nic Bideau, her manager, introduced Freeman to athletics coach Peter Fortune, who would become Freeman's coach for the rest of her career. She was then selected to represent Australia at the 1990 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. There, she reached the semi-finals of the 100 m and placed fifth in the final of the 400 m.

Cathy Freeman Cathy Freeman Biography Childhood Life Achievements Timeline

Freeman competed in her second World Junior Championships in Seoul, South Korea. She competed only in the 200 m, winning the silver medal behind China's Hu Ling. Also in 1992 she travelled to her first Olympic Games, reaching the second round of her new specialty event; the 400 metres. At the 1993 World Championships in Athletics Freeman competed in the 200 m, reaching the semi-finals.

1994 was Freeman's breakthrough season, when she entered into the world's elite for the first time. Competing at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Freeman won gold in both the 200 m and 400 m. She also competed as a member of Australia's 4 × 100 m squad, winning the silver medal and as a member of the 4 × 400 m team, who finished first but were later disqualified. During the 1994 season, Freeman took 1.3 seconds from her 400 m personal best, achieving 50.04 seconds. She also set all-time personal bests in the 100 m (11.24) and 200 m (22.25).

Although a medal favourite at the 1995 World Championships in Athletics in Sweden, Freeman finished fourth. She also reached the semi-finals of the 200 m.

Freeman made more progress during the 1996 season, setting many personal bests and Australian records. By this stage, she was the biggest challenger to France's Marie-José Pérec at the 1996 Olympics. She eventually took the silver medal behind Pérec, in an Australian record of 48.63 seconds. This is still the sixth fastest time ever and the second fastest since the world record was set in Canberra, Australia in 1985. Only Sanya Richards-Ross has come within a quarter of a second of Freeman's time since. Pérec's winning time of 48.25 is the Olympic record and the third fastest ever.

In 1997, Freeman won the 400 m at the World Championships in Athens, with a time of 49.77 seconds. Her only loss in the 400 m that season was in Oslo where she injured her foot.

Freeman took a break for the 1998 season, due to injury. Upon her return to the track in 1999, Freeman did not lose a single 400 m race, including at the World Championships.

Freeman also lit the torch in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Her winning streak continued into the 2000 season, despite Pérec's return to the track. Freeman was the home favourite for the 400 m title at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where she was expected to face-off with rival Pérec. This showdown never happened, as Pérec left the Games after what she describes as harassment from strangers. Freeman won the Olympic title in a time of 49.11 seconds, becoming only the second Australian Aboriginal Olympic champion (the first was Freeman's 4x400 teammate Nova Peris-Kneebone who won for field hockey 4 years earlier in Atlanta). After the race, Freeman took a victory lap, carrying both the Aboriginal and Australian flags. This was despite the fact that unofficial flags are banned at the Olympic Games and the Aboriginal flag, while recognised as official in Australia, is not a national flag, nor recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Freeman also made the final of the 200 m, coming sixth. In honour of her gold medal win in Sydney, she represented Oceania in carrying the Olympic flag at the opening ceremonies of the next Olympics, in Salt Lake City, joining Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Africa), John Glenn (The Americas), Kazuyoshi Funaki (Asia), Lech Wałęsa (Europe), Jean-Michel Cousteau (Environment), Jean-Claude Killy (Sport), and Steven Spielberg (Culture).

Throughout her career, Freeman regularly competed in the Victorian Athletic League where she won two 400 m races at the Stawell Gift Carnival. Freeman did not compete during the 2001 season. In 2002, she returned to the track to compete as a member of Australia's victorious 4 × 400 m relay team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Freeman announced her retirement in 2003.

Post-athletic career

Since retiring from athletics Freeman has become involved in a range of community and charitable activities. She was an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation until 2012.

Freeman was appointed as an Ambassador for Cottage by the Sea, alongside celebrity chef Curtis Stone and big wave surfer Jeff Rowley. Freeman retired from her position as Patron after 10 years in 2014.

Cathy Freeman Foundation

In 2007 Cathy Freeman founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation. The Foundation works with four remote Indigenous communities to close the gap in education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children, by offering incentives for children to attend school.

Personal life

Freeman was born in 1973 at Slade Point, Mackay, Queensland, to Norman Freeman and Cecelia. She and her brothers Gavin, Garth and Norman were raised there and in other parts of Queensland.

Freeman also had an older sister named Anne-Marie who died in 1990. Anne-Marie had cerebral palsy and spent much of her life in the Birribi care facility in Rockhampton, which provides high level care for persons with disabilities. Freeman returned to Birribi in Rockhampton for a 2006 episode of ABC Television's Indigenous Affairs program, Message Stick where Freeman and her mother spoke of the memories they had of Anne-Marie, who purportedly died following an asthma attack after watching Freeman on television win her gold medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Freeman's brothers Norman and Garth were passengers in a vehicle that crashed into a parked truck, killing Norman instantly and injuring Garth in September 2008. The driver, who had three prior drink driving convictions and had never held a licence, pleaded guilty in the Mackay District Court in October 2009 to dangerous driving while adversely affected by liquor and driving while disqualified. She received a seven-year jail sentence and was banned from holding a driver’s licence for life. However, she was released on parole after serving 18 months jail time. The driver subsequently breached parole and was jailed for one month in January 2012. She received an additional 12-month sentence in September 2012 after pleading guilty to further unrelated charges including drink driving and disqualified driving.

Freeman attended several schools including schools in Mackay and Coppabella but was mostly educated at Fairholme College in Toowoomba where she attended after winning a scholarship to board at the school. Her parents divorced in 1978.

Freeman has described how she has been influenced by early experiences with racism and also by her Bahá'í Faith. Freeman was raised a Baha'i, and says of her faith, "I'm not a devout Baha'i but I like the prayers and I appreciate their values about the equality of all human kind".

Freeman's mother Cecelia (née Sibley) was born in the Aboriginal community on Palm Island. Freeman's father Norman Fisher was raised by his mother Geraldine Roy and his stepfather Claude Freeman. He moved to the Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in Central Queensland when Freeman was five years old.

Freeman's late grandfather, Frank Fisher was an outstanding Rugby League player.

Freeman had a long-term romantic relationship with Nick Bideau, her manager, that ended in acrimony and legal wranglings over Freeman's endorsement earnings. Freeman married Alexander "Sandy" Bodecker, a Nike executive and 20 years her senior, in 1999. After her success in Sydney she took an extended break from the track to nurse Bodecker through a bout of throat cancer between May–October 2002. She announced their separation in February 2003.

Later that year, Freeman began dating Australian actor Joel Edgerton whom she had initially met at the 2002 TV Week Logies. Their relationship ended in early 2005.

In October 2006 Freeman announced her engagement to Melbourne stockbroker James Murch. They married at Spray Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula on 11 April 2009. Freeman gave birth to Ruby Anne Susie Murch on 8 July 2011.


She joined with actress Deborah Mailman on a road trip+, a four-part television documentary series Going Bush (2006) where the pair set off on a journey from Broome to Arnhem Land spending time with Indigenous communities along the way.

In 2008, Freeman participated in Who Do You Think You Are? and discovered that her mother was of Chinese and English heritage as well as Aboriginal. As a result of a 1917 Queensland policy that Aborigines could serve in the military if they had a European parent, her paternal great grandfather, Frank Fisher served in the 11th Light Horse Regiment during World War I.

On her right arm, the side closest to the spectators on an athletics track, she had the words "Cos I'm Free" tattooed midway between her shoulder and elbow.


  • Australian of the Year 1998
  • Australian Sports Medal 2000
  • Centenary Medal 2001
  • Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) 2001
  • In 2001, Freeman received the Olympic Order from Juan Antonio Samaranch
  • Laureus named Freeman Sportswoman of the Year in 2001
  • Arthur Ashe Courage Award 2001
  • Deadly Awards 2003 – Female Sportsperson of the Year
  • Sport Australia Hall of Fame induction in 2005
  • Queensland Sport Hall of Fame induction in 2009
  • In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, Cathy Freeman was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for her role as a "sports legends".
  • References

    Cathy Freeman Wikipedia