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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
Freeman's career in photos
Freeman competes in the 400m in 1993
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Competing from age 16, Freeman becomes a well-known figure at home and is the first Aboriginal athlete to represent Australia
Cathy Freeman wins the 400m at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada
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Freeman's first individual gold is at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and she is the first sportsperson to lift the Aborigine flag
Freeman only manages fourth in the 400m at the Worlds in 1995
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But despite a huge performance at the World Championships in Gothenburg in 1995, Freeman misses out on a medal
Falilat Ogunkoya (left), Marie Jo Perec (centre) and Cathy Freeman display their Olympic medals in Atlanta
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Freeman (right) bounces back at the 1996 Olympics, taking 400m silver and becoming the sixth fastest woman ever over 400m
Freeman wins gold at the World Championships in Athens in 1996
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At the World Championships in Athens the following year, Freeman wins 400m gold and an official world number one ranking
Freeman takes the gold medal in the 1999 World Championships in Seville
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She successfully defends her 400m crown at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, as a home Olympic Games in 2000 beckons
Freeman lights the Olympic flame at the 2000 Games' opening ceremony in Sydney
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By now a national treasure, Freeman is given the honour of lighting the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony in Sydney
Freeman wins the 400m gold medal in Sydney
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It's a dream come true for the 27-year-old as she coasts to her first Olympic gold in the 400m and her country's 100th
Freeman claims the 2000 World Sportswoman of the Year award
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After claiming World Sportswoman of the Year award, Freeman decides to take two years off for personal reasons
Freeman helps Australia to gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester
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Back in action at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, Freeman helps Australia to 4x400m gold but forgoes the individual event
Freeman (right) loses to compatriot Jana Pittman
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Despite a solid start to 2003, Freeman's unbeaten run of 25 400m races ends with defeat to compatriot Jana Pittman in March
Cathy Freeman announces her retirement in July, with immediate effect
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Despite hinting she would compete this summer, Freeman announces her retirement, saying her heart is no longer in the sport

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