Sydney marked the 10th anniversary of its highly successful Olympic Games, which opened on 15 September 2000, with daylong celebrations at Sydney Olympic Park.
The park, which saw the world’s best athletes compete for gold and personal bests a decade ago, was once again the focus of attention as the athletes, public, Games volunteers, former members of the Sydney Organising Committee, and even London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman Sebastian Coe returned to swap stories and memories of their time at the Games of the XXVII Olympiad.
Sydney Olympic Park, once a disused area of Australia’s most populous city, underwent a radical transformation ahead of the Games as part of Sydney’s Green Games strategy. Approximately 160 hectares of badly degraded land was restored to create one of the largest urban parklands in Australia (425 hectares in total), while there was also extensive use of renewable energy and the establishment of Australia's first large-scale urban water recycling system, which helps to save approximately 850 million litres of drinking water each year. Such initiatives combined to leave a strong “green” legacy from the Sydney Olympics.
In addition, the park, like other well-utilised former Olympic venues in the city, now welcomes large numbers of visitors each year, both as participants and as spectators, to a full spectrum of sporting events being held there, including rugby, football, volleyball and equestrian events. Many businesses are also now locating to the area in order to take advantage of the easy transport access and the surrounding facilities that the Sydney Games have left as a legacy to this truly Olympic city.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016