Photo courtesy International Olympic Committee

On Exhibit: Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Torch

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The torch for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was inspired by the Sydney Opera House, the blue of the Pacific Ocean and the boomerang. The torch had an inner layer of stainless steel, a blue middle layer of anodized aluminum and an outer layer of treated aluminum. The three layers represented the earth, wind and fire.

After lighting the flame in Greece, the Pacific part of the torch relay began in Guam and visited several islands in Oceania before making its way to Australia, where 11,000 torch bearers traveled 27,000 kilometers – including the torch’s first-ever trip underwater and a visit to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games featured athletes from 199 nations competing in 300 medal events. The United States finished atop the medal count with 93 medals: 37 gold, 24 silver and 32 bronze.

The Sydney 2000 Paralympics featured athletes from 121 nations competing in 551 medal events. The United States claimed 109 medals: 36 gold, 39 silver and 34 bronze.

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40 years later, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Digital Museum looks back at key events and moments from Lake Placid 1980, where the U.S. Men's Ice Hockey Team pulled off the Miracle on Ice and speed skater Eric Heiden won an unprecedented five gold medals.
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