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Sydney 2000 - Quick hits

Beaten after 13 years

Alexander Karelin went to Sydney looking for his fourth consecutive gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. America's Rulon Gardner deprived him of that honor by beating the Russian in the final and ending an unbeaten streak that dated back to 1987.

Pérec flees

Just a few days before the women's 400 meters, which would pit double Olympic champion Marie-José Pérec against Aussie favorite Cathy Freeman, the Frenchwoman quit Sydney and the Games, claiming to have been hounded by fans and media alike. Freeman went on to win gold in the event.

Korea, North and South

For the first time, athletes from the two Koreas paraded together at an opening ceremony. They used a banner to represent the Korean peninsula.


British road cyclist Jason Queally set a Olympic record with his gold-medal-winning performance in the 1 km time trial. But he didn't take to the saddle seriously until the age of 25, after stints at water polo and the triathlon.


Legally blind American athlete Marla Runyan came in eighth in the women's 1500. She is the first athlete to have competed at both an Olympics and a Paralympics. She competed in the latter in 1992 and 1996, picking up six medals along the way.

Lions share

Kings of world soccer Brazil might shake their stuff in the World Cup, but it has been a different story at the Olympics. Having come in third in 1996, they were a miserable seventh in Sydney, where Cameroon's "Indomitable Lions" won their first soccer gold.

Great assets

To help finance their Olympic preparations "the Matildas," as Australia's women's soccer players are known, posed nude for a calendar in November 1999.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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