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XI Paralympic Games
XI Paralympic Games
Host city Sydney, Australia
Nations participating 127
Athletes participating 3846
(2867 men, 979 women)
Events 551 in 20 sports
Opening ceremony October 18
Closing ceremony October 29
Officially opened by William Deane
Paralympic Torch Louise Sauvage
Stadium Stadium Australia

136 Countries participated on the 2000 Paralympics. Many of the same venues of the Sydney Olympics were used, including the Olympic Stadium, Stadium Australia.

The mascot for the 2000 Paralympics was "Lizzie" the Frill-necked Lizard.[1]

Australian artist Kylie Minogue sang "Waltzing Matilda" and "Celebration" at the Opening Ceremony.

Australian country artist Graeme Connors sang his song 'Being Here', which was especially written for the event.

The Australian group, The Seekers, sang their hit song "The Carnival Is Over" as the finale to the Closing Ceremony. Judith Durham, who had a broken hip, sang from a wheelchair.


Torch relay

The Torch Relay Program's objectives were to develop a route and an event which would help maintain momentum between the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, promote the Paralympic Games and encourage ticket purchases. It was also to safely deliver the Paralympic flame to the Opening Ceremony.

While the relay visited each Australian capital city, it also focused strongly on Sydney and the surrounding region, as this was the main catchment area for ticket sales.

The Paralympic Torch Relay succeeded in generating community and media support for the Games, with crowds in many areas and significant crowds lining the Sydney metropolitan route in the final two days of the relay.

The event, which commenced with a lighting ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra on 5 October 2000, involved 920 torchbearers, each of whom carried the flame an average of 500 metres. After visiting each capital city (except Sydney) by air, the relay travelled in New South Wales (NSW) from Moss Vale through the Southern Highlands, Illawarra, Campbelltown, Penrith, Windsor, Hunter and Central Coast areas before heading to Sydney.

Highlights included:

  • The creation of the Paralympic flame during an Indigenous lighting ceremony on the forecourt of Parliament House, Canberra, with Paralympian David Hall (a tennis player) as the first torchbearer. The Australian Prime Minister attended this event.
  • The use of a Royal Australian Air Force Falcon 900 Executive jet to convey the Paralympic flame around Australia.
  • The Paralympic flame being carried across the arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (17 October 2000) by four torchbearers.

This Games Motto: Performance, Power and Pride


The games included 550 separate events in 19 sports. For the first time, women's events were included in the powerlifting program and wheelchair rugby, a demonstration sport at the 1996 Paralympics, was contested as a medal-awarding sport.[2]

Games highlights

Medal count

A total of 1657 medals were awarded during the Sydney games: 550 gold, 549 silver, and 558 bronze. The host country, Australia, topped the medal count with more gold medals and more medals overall than any other nation. Great Britain took the most silver medals, with 43, and tied Australia for the most bronze medals, with 47.[5]

In the table below, the ranking sorts by the number of gold medals earned by a nation (in this context a nation is an entity represented by a National Paralympic Committee). The number of silver medals is taken into consideration next and then the number of bronze medals.

      Host country (Australia)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Australia Australia (AUS) 63 39 47 149
2 Great Britain Great Britain (GBR) 41 43 47 131
3 Canada Canada (CAN) 38 33 25 96
4 Spain Spain (ESP) 38 30 38 106
5 United States United States (USA) 36 39 34 109
6 China China (CHN) 34 22 17 73
7 France France (FRA) 30 28 28 86
8 Poland Poland (POL) 19 22 12 53
9 South Korea South Korea (KOR) 18 7 7 32
10 Germany Germany (GER) 16 41 38 95

Participating delegations

One-hundred and twenty-three delegations participated in the Sydney Paralympics. Included among them was a team of "Individual Paralympic Athletes" from East Timor. The newly-independent country had not yet established a National Paralympic Committee, so the International Paralympic Committee invited East Timorese athletes to compete at the games under the title of Individual Paralympic Athletes.[6]

Barbados, Benin, Cambodia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Niger, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Sudan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam, who had not participated in the Atlanta Games, competed in Sydney.[7]

  • Greece Greece
  • Honduras Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary Hungary
  • Iceland Iceland
  • India India
  • Individual Paralympic Athletes Individual Paralympic Athletes
  • Indonesia Indonesia
  • Iran Iran
  • Iraq Iraq
  • Ireland Ireland
  • Israel Israel
  • Italy Italy
  • Jamaica Jamaica
  • Japan Japan
  • Jordan Jordan
  • Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
  • Kenya Kenya
  • Kuwait Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos Laos
  • Latvia Latvia
  • Lebanon Lebanon
  • Lesotho Lesotho
  • Libya Libya
  • Lithuania Lithuania
  • Macau Macau
  • Madagascar Madagascar
  • Malaysia Malaysia
  • Mali Mali
  • Mauritania Mauritania
  • Mexico Mexico
  • Moldova Moldova
  • Mongolia Mongolia
  • Morocco Morocco
  • Netherlands Netherlands
  • New Zealand New Zealand
  • Nigeria Nigeria
  • Norway Norway
  • Oman Oman
  • Pakistan Pakistan


Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, multiple Paralympic gold medallist for Great Britain, later said of the Sydney Games:

"Sydney 2000 will always hold a special place in the hearts of everyone who was there. The Aussies love their sport and they treated us simply as sportsmen and women. We weren’t regarded as role models or inspirations, we were competitors. Some of us won gold medals, most didn’t, but, hey, that’s life. Sydney was phenomenal because, from day one, you felt there was something extraordinarily special in the air. Sydney was an athletic Disneyland, it was where magic happened. It probably marked the time and place when Paralympians genuinely became part of the Olympic Movement."[8]

See also


External links



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