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Announcement of the Australian Team flag bearer, Sydney, 12 September 2000: address on the occasion [Olympic Games]

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12 September 2000


Subjects: Olympic Games


Your Excellency and Lady Deane, Mr John and Mrs Pauline Coates, the Premier of New South Wales Mr Bob Carr and Mrs Helena Carr, Mr Beazley the Leader of the Federal Opposition, other distinguished guests, overseas visitors, ladies and gentlemen.

In these wonderful facilities, in this beautiful city, in this magnificent country of ours it is a rare and special privilege for me as Prime Minister to say a few heartfelt words of good wishes and good luck to the largest Olympic team that Australia has ever assembled.

Our nation is renowned around the world not only for its love of and passion for sport but also for its great capacity in every area of sporting endeavour. And those of us who love sport, know how much our country has done and performed in the sporting arena in so many areas over the past few years. And it�s almost as if those experiences, those victories and those triumphs of past years have been but a preparation for the Games in Sydney at the beginning of the Millennium.

You carry with you in the Games that start in a few days time the heartfelt good wishes of all Australians. We know how much you�ve trained, we know how much you�ve strained every sinew of that extra bit of effort to bring your performance up to its absolute peak. And we know that you will represent our wonderful country in a magnificent and effective way throughout the entirety of the Olympic Games.

It is the greatest sporting event known to mankind. It�s the greatest sporting event in the world. And it is a huge honour and a huge privilege for everybody associated with the Games and most importantly of all those who will compete in the name of Australia and in the name of sport.

Can I say to all of you, thank you for what you have contributed. To your chosen sport, thank you for what you�ve contributed to your nation. You are champions, you are achievers, you are

men and women of high excellence. I know that in every contest you will do your best for yourselves, your families, your loved ones, and very importantly in a collective way for your country.

It�s a moment of great excitement in the sporting history, but more than that in the history of our nation.

We are but one of a precious handful of countries that has maintained an unbroken thread from the original Summer Games of 1896 and that�s a magnificent tradition and we all feel it tonight and I know we�ll all feel it throughout the entirety of the Games.

Thank you for what you have done for your sport. You go with our passionate good wishes and nineteen million proud Australians will cheer you every second of these Games.

Thank you.

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