We are just days away from kicking off the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, as Australia’s traveling contingent of athletes seek to engrave their names in national sporting folklore.
It’s a sporting festival where Australians have had huge success and these Games seem to be no exception.
As the nation prepares to watch a new generation of stars, it’s worth remembering some special moments we’ve enjoyed in the past.
Foxsports.com.au Step back in time as we examine several iconic Australian moments in Commonwealth Games history.
Watch the video in the player above to relive all those classic moments!
CATHY FREEMAN, VICTORIA 1994
Ask any Aussie about Cathy Freeman and they’ll tell you about this gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
But six years earlier, at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, Freeman had won not just one gold medal but two, winning the 200m and 400m races while taking silver in the 4x relay. 100m.
However, it wasn’t just finishing first on the line that made him so iconic.
After winning the 400m, Freeman draped the Australian flag and the Aboriginal flag – not recognized as an official Australian flag at the time – over his shoulders, much to the chagrin of then-Australian Chef de Mission Arthur Tunstall.
Tunstall asked team officials to warn Freeman that she would be sent home if she repeated the same act, so what did Freeman do?
She then won the 200m and again celebrated with both flags on her victory lap. How good is this.
ANNA MEARES, DELHI 2010
Suffering from a broken neck is almost certain to end the career of most athletes.
But Anna Meares is not like most.
An accident on the World Cup circuit in Los Angeles in 2008 saw Meares suffer horrific injuries, including a broken neck, but he was somehow on the bike just over a week after the incident .
Two years later, at the Delhi Games, Meares was back to his best, winning three gold medals in his most successful Commonwealth Games.
STEVE HOOKER, MELBOURNE 2006
Winning your first gold medal at the international level is damn good.
Win at the Commonwealth Games on home soil? Even better.
Steve Hooker was 23 when he competed at the Melbourne Games in 2006, but he didn’t look like a relative rookie at all as he claimed victory with a 5.80m leap in front of a cheering crowd.
KERRYN MCCANN, MELBOURNE 2006
Competing in the 2006 Commonwealth Games women’s marathon, Kerryn McCann was locked in an epic duel against Kenya’s Hellen Cherono Koskei on the streets of Melbourne, with the lead constantly changing hands.
As the two entered the MCG, McCann was carried home by more than 75,000 screaming fans as the 38-year-old finally held on to the lead and finished two seconds ahead of Koskei to claim her second gold medal. gold at the Commonwealth Games after winning the same race in Manchester four. years earlier.
Many considered it the best moment of those Games and McCann described it as his best run ever.
JOHN STEFFENSEN, MELBOURNE 2006
Despite entering the men’s 400m final as a relative underdog, John Steffensen proved everyone wrong.
He raced around the MCG to finish first on the line with a personal best 44.73.
Steffensen also won gold in the men’s 4x400m relay, establishing himself as a linchpin of Australian athletics.
AUSTRALIAN DIAMONDS, GLASGOW 2014
Revenge is a dish best served cold or, in netball terms, a victory in a gold medal game by an 18-goal margin.
Australia’s Diamonds had lost both previous Commonwealth Games finals to New Zealand’s Silver Ferns, including a heartbreaking overtime loss at the 2010 Games in Delhi.
But the Diamonds beat the Silver Ferns 58-40 four years later in Glasgow, ending a 16-year wait for a gold medal.
SUSIE O’NEILL, VICTORIA 1994 AND KUALA LUMPUR 1998
Susie O’Neill had to exceed the luggage weight limit at two Commonwealth Games, such was her huge success in the pool.
At the 1994 Games in Victoria, Canada, O’Neill won four gold medals winning the 200 m freestyle, 200 m butterfly, 4 x 100 m freestyle and 4 x 200 m freestyle.
Four years later in Kuala Lumpur, she defended all those medals but added more gold to her collection by winning the 400m freestyle and 4 x 100m medley.
IAN THORPE, MANCHESTER 2002
Ian Thorpe, perhaps the most famous Australian swimmer of all time, was a different beast at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
He won six gold medals at the Games, finishing first in five different freestyle races.
But it was the 400m freestyle that was most special, as Thorpe set a new world record of 3:40:08, a record that stood for seven years until German Paul Biedermann broke it. in 2009 by one hundredth of a second.