Cathy Freeman

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Cathy Freeman
OAM
Freeman in 2008
Personal information
Full nameCatherine Astrid Salome Freeman
Born16 February 1973 (age 47)
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
EducationKooralbyn International school
Fairholme College
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
OccupationAustralian sprinter/runner
Height164 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight56 kg (8 st 11 lb; 123 lb)
Spouse(s)Sandy Bodecker (1999–2003), James Murch (2009–present)
Sport
CountryAustralia
SportSprint
University teamUniversity of Melbourne
Coached byStep-father Bruce Barber, Mike Danila, Peter Fortune
Retired1 July 2003
Medal record
Women’s athletics Representing  Australia Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney 400 m Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta 400 m World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1997 Athens 400 m Gold medal – first place 1999 Seville 400 m Bronze medal – third place 1995 Gothenburg 4 × 400 m relay Commonwealth Games Gold medal – first place 1990 Auckland 4 × 100 m Gold medal – first place 1994 Victoria 200 m Gold medal – first place 1994 Victoria 400 m Gold medal – first place 2002 Manchester 4 × 400 m Silver medal – second place 1994 Victoria 4 × 100 m

Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman OAM (born 16 February 1973) is an Australian former sprinter, who specialized 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 eighth-fastest woman of all time[GR1] , set while finishing second to Marie-José Pérec‘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.

Freeman was the first Australian Indigenous person to become a Commonwealth Games gold medalist at age 16 in 1990. The year 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 at 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.

In 2007, she founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

Career

Cathy Freeman began athletics at the age of 5. 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.

1987–1989

In 1987 Freeman moved on to Kooralbyn International School[GR2]  to be coached professionally by Romanian Mike Danila, who later became a key influence throughout her career; he provided a strict training regime for the young athlete.

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.

1990–1995

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 medalist, 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, her manager Nic Bideau 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.

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 after Freeman obstructed the Nigerian runner. 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.

1996–2003

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.

Freeman preparing to race in the Olympic 400 m final, Sydney 2000.

She continued to win into the 2000 season, despite Pérec’s return to the track. Freeman was the home favourite for the 400 titles 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 described 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 4 × 400 teammates Nova Peris-Kneebone who won for field hockey four years earlier in Atlanta). After the race, Freeman took a victory lap, carrying both the Aboriginal and Australian flags. This was despite unofficial flags being banned at the Olympic Games, and the Aboriginal flag, while recognized as official in Australia, not being a national flag or recognised by the International Olympic Committee[GR3] . Freeman also reached the final of the 200 m, coming sixth. In honor 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[GR4]  (AIEF) until 2012.

Freeman was appointed as an Ambassador for Cottage by the Sea (a children’s holiday camp in Queenscliffe, Victoria), 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 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. It partners with the AIEF and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. [GR5] 

Personal life

Freeman was born in 1973 at Slade Point, MackayQueensland, to Norman Freeman and Cecelia. Cecelia is of Kuku Yalanji[GR6]  heritage, and was born on Palm Island in Queensland, while Norman was born in Woorabinda of the Birri Gubba people. She and her brothers Gavin, Garth and Norman were raised there and in other parts of Queensland. She also had an older sister named Anne-Marie who was born in 1966 and died in 2000. Anne-Marie had cerebral palsy and spent much of her life in the Birribi care facility in Rockhampton.

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 Baháʼí Faith. Freeman was raised a Baháʼí, 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, moved to the Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in Central Queensland when Freeman was five years old.

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 her first child in 2011.

Media

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?[GR7]  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.

Competition record

International competitions

YearCompetitionVenuePositionEventNotes
Representing  Australia
1990Commonwealth GamesAuckland, New Zealand1st4 × 100 m relay43.87
World Junior ChampionshipsPlovdivBulgaria15th (sf)100m11.87 (wind: -1.3 m/s)
5th200m23.61 (wind: +1.3 m/s)
5th4 × 100 m relay45.01
1992Summer OlympicsBarcelona, Spain7th4 × 400 m relay3:26.42
World Junior ChampionshipsSeoulSouth Korea2nd200m23.25 (wind: +0.3 m/s)
6th4 × 400 m relay3:36.28
1994Commonwealth GamesVictoria Canada1st200 m22.25
1st400 m50.38
2nd4 × 100 m relay43.43
IAAF Grand Prix FinalParis, France2nd400 m50.04
1995World ChampionshipsGothenburg, Sweden4th400 m50.60
3rd4 × 400 m relay3:25.88
1996Summer OlympicsAtlanta, United States2nd400 m48.63
IAAF Grand Prix FinalMilan, Italy1st400 m49.60
1997World ChampionshipsAthens, Greece1st400 m49.77
1999World ChampionshipsSeville, Spain1st400 m49.67
6th4 × 400 m relay3:28.04
World Indoor ChampionshipsMaebashi, Japan2nd4 × 400 m relay3:26.87
2000Summer OlympicsSydney, Australia6th200 m22.53
1st400 m49.11
5th4 × 400 m relay3:23.81
2002Commonwealth GamesManchester, Great Britain1st4 × 400 m relay3:25.63

National championships

YearCompetitionVenuePositionEvent
1990Australian ChampionshipsMelbourne, Australia2nd100 m
1990Australian ChampionshipsMelbourne, Australia1st200 m
1991Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st200 m
1992Australian ChampionshipsAdelaide, Australia2nd200 m
1992Australian ChampionshipsAdelaide, Australia3rd400 m
1993Australian ChampionshipsQueensland, Australia2nd200 m
1994Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st100 m
1994Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st200 m
1995Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia2nd200 m
1995Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st400 m
1996Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st100 m
1996Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st200 m
1997Australian ChampionshipsMelbourne, Australia2nd200 m
1997Australian ChampionshipsMelbourne, Australia1st400 m
1998Australian ChampionshipsMelbourne, Australia1st400 m
1999Australian ChampionshipsMelbourne, Australia1st400 m
2000Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st200 m
2000Australian ChampionshipsSydney, Australia1st400 m
2003Australian ChampionshipsBrisbane, Australia1st400 m

Circuit performances

YearCompetitionVenuePositionEvent
2000Golden League 2000 – Exxon Mobil Bislett GamesOslo, Norway1st400 m
2000Golden League 2000 – Herculis ZepterMonaco1st400 m
2000Golden League 2000 – Meeting Gaz de France de ParisParis, France1st200 m
2000Golden League 2000 – Memorial Van DammeBrussels, Belgium1st400 m
2000Grand Prix 2000 – Athletissima 2000Lausanne, Switzerland1st400 m
2000Grand Prix 2000 – CGU ClassicGateshead, Great Britain1st200 m
2000Grand Prix 2000 – Melbourne Track ClassicMelbourne, Australia1st400 m
2000Grand Prix 2000 – Tsiklitiria MeetingAthens, Greece1st400 m

Awards


 [GR1]The 400 metres, or 400-metre dash, is a sprinting event in track and field competitions. It has been featured in the athletics programme at the Summer Olympics since 1896 for men and since 1964 for women. On a standard outdoor running track, it is one lap around the track. Runners start in staggered positions and race in separate lanes for the entire course. In many countries, athletes previously competed in the 440-yard dash (402.336 m)—which is a quarter of a mile and was referred to as the ‘quarter-mile’—instead of the 400 m (437.445 yards), though this distance is now obsolete.

Like other sprint disciplines, the 400 m involves the use of starting blocks. The runners take up position in the blocks on the ‘ready’ command, adopt a more efficient starting posture which isometrically preloads their muscles on the ‘set’ command, and stride forwards from the blocks upon hearing the starter’s pistol. The blocks allow the runners to begin more powerfully and thereby contribute to their overall sprint speed capability. Maximum sprint speed capability is a significant contributing factor to success in the event, but athletes also require substantial speed endurance and the ability to cope well with high amounts of lactic acid to sustain a fast speed over a whole lap. While considered to be predominantly an anaerobic event, there is some aerobic involvement and the degree of aerobic training required for 400-metre athletes is open to debate.

The current men’s world record is held by Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, with a time of 43.03 seconds; van Niekerk is also the Olympic champion. Steven Gardiner is the reigning World Champion. The world indoor record holder is Michael Norman, in 44.52 seconds. The current women’s world record is held by Marita Koch, with a time of 47.60 seconds. Salwa Eid Naser is the reigning women’s world champion, while Shaunae Miller holds the women’s Olympic title. Jarmila Kratochvílová holds the world indoor record at 49.59 dating back to 1982. The men’s T43 Paralympic world record of 45.07 seconds is held by Oscar Pistorius.

An Olympic double of 200 metres and 400 m was first achieved by Valerie Brisco-Hooks in 1984, and later by Marie-José Pérec of France and Michael Johnson from the United States on the same evening in 1996. Alberto Juantorena of Cuba at the 1976 Summer Olympics became the first and so far the only athlete to win both the 400 m and 800 m Olympic titles. Pérec became the first to defend the Olympic title in 1996, Johnson became the first and only man to do so in 2000. From 31 appearances in the Olympic Games, the men’s gold medallist came from the US 19 times.

 [GR2]The Kooralbyn International School (TKIS) is an independentco-educationalboarding and day school, located in Kooralbyn, about 64 km south of BrisbaneQueenslandAustralia. In 2007 and again in 2009, the school was ranked in the Top 20 schools in the state (Queensland) for Year 12 OP results with 89% and 100% of its Year 12 students obtaining an OP1-15 in those respective years. A small school, it manages to produce a high percentage of successful students particularly in sporting endeavours like golf, athletics and equestrian events. TKIS is the only school in Australia to have produced two Young Australian of the Year recipients (Cathy Freeman and Scott Hocknull)

 [GR3]The International Olympic Committee (IOCFrenchComité international olympiqueCIO) is a non-governmental sports organisation based in LausanneSwitzerland. Founded by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

The IOC is the governing body of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), which are the national constituents of the worldwide Olympic Movement. As of 2016, there are 206 NOCs officially recognised by the IOC. The current president of the IOC is Thomas Bach of Germany, who succeeded Jacques Rogge of Belgium in September 2013

 [GR4]The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation was established in 2008 by Andrew Penfold. In 2002, as a result of Bali bombings he lost a few friends, which inspired him to lay the foundation of this organisation. He is also the chief executive officer of the organisation.

AIEF currently offers over 500 scholarship places at 34 educational partners as well as universities across Australia

 [GR5]The Brotherhood of St Laurence is an Australian not-for-profit organisation working toward an Australia free of poverty. The Brotherhood (as it is colloquially known) has its headquarters in Melbourne but provides services and programs across Australia. It undertakes research, delivers services and advocates for anyone who faces, or is at risk of, disadvantage and poverty.

The Brotherhood pursues systemic change and finds new ways to address disadvantage so that people can fully participate in economic, social and civic life, and create and share prosperity with dignity and respect.

 [GR6]Kuku Yalanji lands began to be occupied extensively by white colonisers in 1877, after the government opened up their area to selection, and as miners crowded into the area, where the Palmer River gold rush had been underway since news leaked out of a discovery of that mineral in June 1873.time. Within a year over 5,000 Europeans and 2,000 Chinese, mainly from Guangdong, crammed into the Palmer River site, until then the sole preserve of Kuku Yalanji people, to work its riches. Attempts made to uproot the people from their land were resisted, and a Lutheran mission opened up on the Bloomfield River in 1886 failed within 16 years of its establishment. century. Forced removals of some Kuku-Yalanji were undertaken again in the 1930s, with their relocation to missions at Daintree and Mossman. As late as 1957, a further attempt to relocate groups to a mission in Bloomfield took place. The gold rush lasted from 1873 to 1885, with the Palmer population of Chinese briefly skyrocketing to some 17,000 by 1877, until the opportunities for quick takings began to dwindle, with most Europeans leaving by 1880, and the Chinese numbers dropping drastically to 3,000. In response to this overwhelming invasion, the Kuku Yalanji set up a fierce resistance virtually tantamount to guerrilla warfare.

The Kuku Yalanji eventually were reduced to living in shanty towns on the outskirts of the areas which the foreign populations developed, and developed skills for working in the new economy. Often, in trading their services with the Chinese, they were paid in opium, which could be imported legally until 1906. According to contemporary European observers appointed as protectors of Aborigines, such as Walter Roth and Archibald Meston, consumption of this drug in the form of opium ash mixed with water, accounted for thousands of native deaths, far more than those due to other introduced maladies such as venereal disease. Modern historians now consider that these early reports, like the often bruited tales of the Kuku Yalanji hunting Chinese for cannibalistic feasting, whatever partial truth they contain, perhaps functioned to assuage any guilt European settlers may have felt for their key role in the decimation of northern Queensland aboriginal communities.

From 1897 to the 1960s, the Kuku Yalanji like other Aboriginal peoples faced the Government’s paternalistic legislation that allowed for Aboriginal people to be placed under “protection” in attempt to preserve their culture, placing them in Aboriginal reserves. The Kuku Yalanji began concentrating around the Mossman Reserve around the time of World War II and the people in the Daintree region were forced to the northern bank of the Daintree River. They were further subjected to more relocations by the government. Kuku Yalanji are now concentrated predominantly in Mossman and Wujal Wujal.

 [GR7]Who Do You Think You Are? is an Australian television documentary reality genealogy series, part of the international franchise and adaptation of the original British series on BBC of the same name, airing on SBS. SBS first aired six episodes of the BBC series in late 2007, followed by six Australian episodes beginning 13 January 2008 and then six more from the original BBC version. Each episode profiles a celebrity tracing their family tree and is narrated by Richard Mellick.

SBS renewed the series for a sixth series on 29 August 2012. The seventh season aired on SBS from 4 August 2015. The eighth season started on Tuesday, 13 September 2016. The ninth season started on Tuesday 17 April 2018. Season 10 began on 30 April 2019. Season 11 began airing on 19 May 2020.

 [GR8]Since 1960 the award for the Australian of the Year has been bestowed as part of the celebrations surrounding Australia Day (26 January), during which time it has grown steadily in significance to become one of the nation’s pre-eminent awards. The Australian of the Year announcement has become a notable part of the annual Australia Day celebrations. The official announcement has grown to become a public event, and the Canberra ceremony is televised nationally. The award offers an insight into Australian identity, reflecting the nation’s evolving relationship with world, the role of sport in Australian culture, the impact of multiculturalism, and the special status of Indigenous Australians. It has also provoked spirited debate about the fields of endeavour that are most worthy of public recognition.

The award program promotes active citizenship and seeks to elevate certain people as role models. Three companion awards have been introduced, recognising both Young and Senior Australians, and proclaiming the efforts of those who work at a grass roots level through the “Australia’s Local Hero” award.

 [GR9]The Prime Minister announced the creation of the Australian Sports Medal on 31 December 1998.

This commemorative medal was introduced to recognise Australian sporting achievements. The medal acknowledged a range of Australians who, in different ways, contributed to the nation’s sporting success. Recipients included former competitors, coaches, sports scientists, office holders, and people who maintain sporting facilities and services.

The Australian Sports Medal was formally established on 23 December 1999 by Letters Patent.

 [GR10]The Centenary Medal was an award created by the Australian Government in 2001. It was established to commemorate the Centenary of Federation of Australia and to recognise “people who made a contribution to Australian society or government”. It was also awarded to centenarians: Australian citizens born on or before 31 December 1901 who lived to celebrate the centenary of federation on 1 January 2001. Nominations were assessed by a panel chaired by Professor Geoffrey Blainey, a historian.

 [GR11]The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth IIQueen of Australia, on the recommendation of the Australian government, to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. Before the establishment of the order, Australian citizens received British honours.

The Queen of Australia is sovereign head of the order, while the Governor-General of Australia is the principal companion/dame/knight (as relevant at the time) and chancellor of the order. The governor-general’s official secretary, currently Paul Singer, is secretary of the order.

 [GR12]Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquess of Samaranch (Catalan: [ʒuˈan ənˈtɔni(.u) səməˈɾaŋ]; 17 July 1920 – 21 April 2010) was a Spanish sports administrator under the Franco regime (1973–1977) who served as the seventh President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001. Samaranch served the second-longest term as the head of the IOC, the longest being that of Pierre de Coubertin (29 years).

 [GR13]The Arthur Ashe Courage Award (sometimes called the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage or Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award) is presented as part of the ESPY Awards. It is named for the American tennis player Arthur Ashe. Although it is a sport-oriented award, it is not limited to sports-related people or actions, as it is presented annually to individuals whose contributions “transcend sports”. According to ESPN, the organization responsible for giving out the award, “recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost”. The award has been presented as part of the ESPY Awards ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles since 2008.

The inaugural award, made at the 1993 ESPY Awards, was presented to the American college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster Jim Valvano. In 1993, ESPN partnered with Valvano to create the V Foundation which presents the annual Jimmy V Award to “a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination.” Suffering from cancer, Valvano gave the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage Award acceptance speech which “brought a howling, teary-eyed Madison Square Garden to its feet”. Valvano died two months after receiving the award. Although the award is usually given to individuals, it has been presented to multiple recipients on seven occasions: former athletes on United Airlines Flight 93 (2002), Pat and Kevin Tillman (2003), Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren (2005), Roia Ahmad and Shamila Kohestani (2006), Trevor Ringland and David Cullen (2007), and Tommie SmithJohn Carlos (2008), and survivors of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal (2018). The accolade has been presented posthumously on five occasions.

The award has not been without controversy: in June 2015, ESPN’s announcement of Caitlyn Jenner as the recipient of that year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award led to significant criticism among online commenters and some members of the media, with Bob Costas calling the decision to give Jenner the award a “crass exploitation play”. Many critics of the Jenner award considered Lauren Hill, who played college basketball despite suffering from a brain tumour that would claim her life only a few months later, a more worthy recipient. Others cited Noah Galloway, an Iraq War double amputee who competes in extreme sports and was also a finalist in the 20th season of Dancing with the Stars in 2015, as a worthy candidate.

The 2018 recipients of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award were the survivors of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal.

 [GR14]The Sport Australia Hall of Fame was established on 10 December 1985 to recognise the achievements of Australian sportsmen and sportswomen. The inaugural induction included 120 members with Sir Don Bradman as the first inductee and Dawn Fraser the first female inductee.  In 1989, the Hall of Fame was expanded to include associate members who have assisted in the development of sport in Australia. In 2012, there were 518 members.  Each year the Hall of Fame inducts notable retired athletes, associate members and upgrades one member to ‘legend’ status.

The main award each year is the ‘Don’ Award but other awards include Team Sport Australia Award, Spirit of Sport Award and Hall of Fame Moments.

The National Sports Museum located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground houses the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

 [GR15]Queensland’s Q150 Icons is an official list of cultural icons compiled as part of Q150 (the 150th birthday of Queensland) in 2009 by the Government of Queensland, Australia, that represent the people, places and events that are significant to Queensland.

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