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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Sydney 2000
Sydney-2000
The Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony
Did you know? Eric The Eel's 100m swim took a minute more than other heat winners
The Sydney Games have been widely acclaimed as one of the best Olympics.

Home favourite Cathy Freeman was the star of a spectacular opening ceremony which celebrated the Olympian ideal and Aussie culture.

She then became the first Aboriginal to win track gold - to the delight of a rapturous capacity crowd.

Britain's Steve Redgrave confirmed his place in the Olympic Hall of Fame with a fifth straight rowing gold medal - one of 11 British golds in Sydney.

Maurice Greene cemented his reputation as the world's fastest man with victory in the 100m, while fellow American Michael Johnson became the first man to successfully defend the Olympic 400m crown.

American runner Marion Jones became the first woman to win five medals in athletics at one Olympics.

The swimming competition was dominated by 17-year-old Australian Ian Thorpe, who won broke his own world record to claim gold in the 400m freestyle. He then went on to win another two gold and two silver medals.

However, the most prolific medal winner at Sydney was not Jones or Thorpe.

He may not have grabbed many headlines, but gymnast Alexei Nemov took six medals back to Russia with him, equalling his Atlanta tally four years ago.

Elsewhere, swimmer Eric 'The Eel' Moussambani became a worldwide superstar.

The 22-year-old from Equatorial Guinea, who had only been swimming for just over six months, huffed and puffed his way to winning his 100m freestyle heat and the hearts of all those around him.

His triumph was made possible due when the two other swimmers in his heat were eliminated for false starts. Moussambani set a landmark all his own - by actually managing to complete the distance.

The US team once again topped the medals table with 97 medals: 39 gold, 25 silver and 33 bronze.





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