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A Look Back at the 2000 Sydney Olympics

July 28, 2021 2 min read

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We are well into the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

We cry tears of happiness watching Hidilyn Diaz representing the Philippines brings home the countries' first Gold.

Our hearts break as games' sweetheart, Simone Biles, withdraws from Belle & Bloom's favourite event, gymnastics, just after fumbling the vault.

simone biles tokyo 2021 withdraws

Whilst watching our favourite Olympic sport in Tokyo, we can't help but fondly remember back 20 years when our city by the sea was the host and home of the Olympic Village and it's dedicated fans. 

Though the  memory is bittersweet and involves the vault.  In 2000, fans and gymnasts alike gathered in the Sydney Superdome for the gymnastics event that every elite gymnast dreams of winning.  The vault was the first event.

American athlete, 18 year old Elise Ray, was first up, she had never fallen on this event but on her first run, something happened and she came inches from a life-threatening fall. Elise figured she misstepped or the nerves got the best of her but on her second run, again she fell.

 sydney olympics 2000 vault

The pressure is high at all Olympic events and generally of one of eighteen competitors will fall on the vault.  On this occasion eight competitors fell with another 9 fumbling, the event look more like an average high school team meet than the pinnacle or the sport. Seventeen competitors live's work and dreams gone in seconds.  Even Russian superstar, Svetlana Khorkina, fell on her vault's name sake.

 Sydney olympic Australian team gymnastics

So what happened?

It took 16 year old Australian gymnast, Allana Slater to question the height of the vault.  The  vault was measured; officials and gymnasts realised that the vault had been set 2 inches too low, a monumental difference for a competitor's performance. 

Foul play? Checks and balances overlooked?

Listen to what really went down at the Sydney Women's All Around Gymnastics event in 2000 by listening to the new Podcast, 'The Blind Landing'

Whether filling our time with the Games or Podcasts, Sydney lockdown is much more bearable in a cozy Belle & Bloom wool knit jumper.

2021 Australian olympics team medals