Olympic History

Volunteers at 10th Anniversary 2010
               Photo: Paul K Robbins

Sydney was the proud host of the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These Games provided the world with some of the greatest sporting and entertainment events ever witnessed in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Both Games were a great success and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games were declared as "the best Games ever" by IOC President Samaranch. The 2000 Games were known for the numerous Australian, Olympic, Paralympic and world records that were broken.

Participation

  • 199 NOCs (Nations) and 4 individual athletes (IOA)
  • 10,651 athletes (4,069 women, 6,582 men)
  • 300 events
  • 46,967 volunteers
  • 16,033 media (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters)
For more information on Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the official results visit the Games Info website, or visit the official Olympic Movement website.

Background

The Sydney Olympic Park area was planned, developed and operated by the Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA), which was established to manage operations during the the time of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. During September 1995, a blueprint planning document The Master Plan was established which divided the site into four major zones:
  1. An urban core containing sporting venues and entertainment facilities, the Showground and exhibition area and commercial sites
  2. The Newington Urban District, which was the Olympic Village for athletes and team officials
  3. A major metropolitan park providing several ecologically distinct areas, nature corridors, habitat and active recreational opportunities for Sydneysiders
  4. The waterfront development and parklands providing public access to the shoreline.
Redevelopment of the area began in the 1980s when a private business park, the Australia Centre, the State Sports Centre and Bicentennial Park were established. The closure of the Homebush Abattoir and the NSW Brickworks in the late 1980s opened up the remainder of the site for renewal. Sydney's successful Bid for the 2000 Olympic Games provided the impetus for the next and most exciting stage of the area's development, with the building of the Olympic venues and creation of public spaces and parklands.

Facilities and operations

Sydney Olympic Park venues and public facilities included the:
  • Sydney International Aquatic Centre
  • Sydney International Archery Centre
  • Sydney International Athletic Centre
  • Australia Centre - a commercial precinct
  • Baseball Centre - in the main showring of the Sydney Showground
  • Bicentennial Park - opened in 1988
  • Brickpit - dramatic feature of Millennium Parklands
  • Ferry Terminal
  • Hockey Centre
  • Sydney SuperDome
  • Olympic Boulevard - 1.5 km long boulevard through the centre of the site which links major sporting venues, the Olympic Village and other facilities
  • Olympic Stadium
  • Olympic Village - accommodation for 15 000 athletes and officials during the Games and a suburb for up to 6000 people after the Games
  • Millennium Parklands - a major new metropolitan park
  • Rail Link - centrally located three-platform below-ground station; walking distance to major facilities; capacity to move 50 000 people per hour during major events
  • Sydney Showground - includes pavilions, exhibition space, showring/baseball arena
  • State Sport Centre - multi-purpose indoor venue
  • Golf Driving Range
  • Tennis Centre
During the Games, additional overlay facilities were provided at Sydney Olympic Park to assist in Olympic mode and to provide a fun and enjoyable experience for spectators and visitors:
  • The Olympic Expo - a pageant of food, sponsor showcasing and a large public gathering space complete with giant video screen S
  • Showground Markets - major food halls and Olympic Super Store for merchandise sales
  • McDonalds Central - opposite the Olympic Stadium, the largest McDonalds in the world
  • The Samsung Olympic Rendezvous - a meeting place for athletes and their families combined with an interactive public sporting exhibition
  • NBC Today - studio and stage set near the Fig Grove
  • Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Pavilion - showcasing Australian indigenous history and culture
  • International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre
  • Sponsor Hospitality Village

Two large temporary bus terminals constructed at the southern and northern entrances, 'South Gate' and 'North Gate', to cater for the unprecedented number of buses and spectators.

These additional features, including a number of temporary bridges to separate vehicle and pedestrian traffic and to facilitate crowd movement through a 'one-way' pedestrian system, were all enhanced with special lighting effects and the Olympic Look, including banners, flags, fencing material and specially built Olympic signage.

Games-time

With between 200 000 and 400 000 people coming to Sydney Olympic Park each day during the Games to attend events and enjoy the atmosphere, effective management of the precinct was required to allow people to have a safe and memorable Olympic experience. The effective movement of people around Homebush Bay was one of the successes of the Sydney Games.

Sydney Olympic Park was owned and managed by OCA which, during the Games, managed the Common Domain areas to ensure the safe and timely passage of Olympic Family, spectators and workforce to, from and between venues. In this role OCA drew on valuable work undertaken by SOCOG which modelled Games-time activities and movements. Out of this work came the 'one-way pedestrian system' and clear segregation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The team managing the Common Domain included staff from SOCOG, Olympic Security Command Centre (OSCC) and Olympic Roads and Transport Authority (ORTA), reflecting the integrated nature of the Sydney 2000 Games at all levels. The Common Domain comprised all the public space, amenities and facilities within the security perimeter surrounding the Park.

The task during the Games was to ensure:

  • safe and timely travel to and from back of house venue entry/exit points for Olympic Family, athletes, press, broadcasters and workforce
  • safe and timely travel to and from front of house entry/exit points for Olympic sponsors and ticketed spectators
  • safety and enjoyment for visitors enjoying the Olympic experience
  • the managed flow of goods and services to, from and within the Park, including back of house services, e.g. waste, logistics, catering, technology, and
  • provision of an acceptable level of public amenity, safety and comfort.

Legislation was enacted to facilitate the management of the Common Domain. The Homebush Bay Operations Act provided OCA with the powers necessary to manage and control the Common Domain before, during and after the Games. Under the terms of the legislation, OCA had all rights as an owner of the land, including rights of use, occupation and enjoyment, and rights for trade and commerce. OCA was also the legal consent authority in respect of all building and planning approvals under local government legislation.

Olympic operations in the Common Domain were conducted within the framework provided by OCA and the legislation, working closely with NSW Police and ORTA. A series of guidelines were developed in close consultation with SOCOG and the IOC to ensure consistency of approach in areas such as: Look, image, newspaper sales and non-rightsholding broadcasters' access.

There were also requirements for compliance with a number of other conditions, including: environmental protection; building approvals compliance to ensure fire and life safety; audit inspections so that all overlay in the Common Domain was safe for public occupation at all times; and food monitoring inspections carried out by the Department of Health.