chapter  14
18 Pages

The Reinvention of Australia for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Following the announcement of Sydney's candidacy for the 2000 Olympic Games in 1991, the city was cast as an ideal host in several ways. Australian historian Frank Farrell suggests that there is a particular 'Australian reverence' for the Olympics that makes it a plausible host. In addition, he argues 'Australia has been regarded as a safe haven for the Olympics because the Games are taken seriously, no effort is spared to make them a success, and there is an absence of any organised opposition'. I Furthermore, the reliance on Sydney's natural beauty, on the friendliness of the population and on the city's commitment to an environmentally friendly games culminated in an image of Sydney as a successful and worthy host. Since then, civic boosters continued to generate internal and external interest in the Games and to present Australians as unified behind this sporting event. Nationally, attempts were made by not only the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) but a plethora of other corporations, taskforces, educational institutions and media concerns to create and sustain a frenzy of interest and the unqualified support of the Australian public.