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Rarely-seen Olympic champion Cathy Freeman, 45, works up a sweat during a Christmas boot camp

Eighteen years after sprinting to glory at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Cathy Freeman is back in training.

The 45-year-old retired athlete was photographed putting herself through her paces during an intensive workout in Melbourne, just two days before Christmas.

Wearing black shorts and a matching T-shirt, Cathy looked to be in her element while participating in a local boot camp class.

Not slowing down! Eighteen years after sprinting to glory at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Cathy Freeman is back in training. Pictured during a boot camp in Melbourne on December 23

Proving she’s still a formidable sprinter, the gold medalist dashed across the park at a rapid pace, leaving other people her class struggling to keep up.

A look of concentration was etched on her face as she strode several paces ahead of the second-place runner.

She completed her look with reflective sunglasses and black sneakers, and styled her brunette hair loosely. 

Coming out in front: Proving she's still a formidable sprinter, the gold medalist dashed across the park at a rapid pace, leaving other people her class struggling to keep up

Coming out in front: Proving she’s still a formidable sprinter, the gold medalist dashed across the park at a rapid pace, leaving other people her class struggling to keep up

Time out: Taking a break from her tough workout later in the day, Cathy sipped from a water bottle while seeking refuge in the shade

Time out: Taking a break from her tough workout later in the day, Cathy sipped from a water bottle while seeking refuge in the shade

Training hard: The 45-year-old retired athlete was photographed putting herself through her paces during an intensive workout in Melbourne, just two days before Christmas

Training hard: The 45-year-old retired athlete was photographed putting herself through her paces during an intensive workout in Melbourne, just two days before Christmas

Keeping fit: Wearing black shorts and a matching T-shirt, Cathy looked to be in her element while participating in a local boot camp class

Keeping fit: Wearing black shorts and a matching T-shirt, Cathy looked to be in her element while participating in a local boot camp class

Working up a sweat: In addition to sprinting across the grass, the former track star was also seen performing sit-ups, crawling exercises and jumps 

Working up a sweat: In addition to sprinting across the grass, the former track star was also seen performing sit-ups, crawling exercises and jumps 

In addition to sprinting across the grass, the former track star was also seen performing sit-ups, crawling exercises and jumps. 

At one stage, she appeared to consult a green folder and study its contents. 

Taking a break from her tough workout later in the day, Cathy sipped from a water bottle while seeking refuge in the shade.

Champion attitude: Since announcing her retirement 18 years ago, Cathy has remained active in the sporting community by mentoring a new generation of athletes

Champion attitude: Since announcing her retirement 18 years ago, Cathy has remained active in the sporting community by mentoring a new generation of athletes

The boot camp doubled as a family outing, as she was also joined by her husband James Murch and their daughter Ruby.

Since announcing her retirement 18 years ago, Cathy has remained active in the sporting community by mentoring a new generation of athletes.

In an interview from July 2003, Cathy said she decided to retire because she realised she would never top her performance at the 2000 Olympics. 

Focused: A look of concentration was etched on Cathy's face as she strode several paces ahead of the second-place runner 

Focused: A look of concentration was etched on Cathy’s face as she strode several paces ahead of the second-place runner 

Reading up: At one stage, she appeared to consult a green folder and study its contents

Reading up: At one stage, she appeared to consult a green folder and study its contents

Dedicated: Cathy jumped up and down from a standing position as part of her workout

Dedicated: Cathy jumped up and down from a standing position as part of her workout

Why Cathy Freeman’s run at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games is one of Australia’s best-ever sporting performances

By Charlie Moore 

Talisman: Freeman lights the Olympic cauldron at the 2000 opening ceremony

Talisman: Freeman lights the Olympic cauldron at the 2000 opening ceremony

The image of Cathy Freeman dashing around the track in her green full-body suit to claim 400m gold is etched in Australian national memory. 

Under severe pressure as the nation’s talisman and most popular athlete, and after lighting the Olympic cauldron at the Sydney 2000 opening ceremony, Freeman showed no sign of nerves when she left her rivals in her dust after an explosive final bend.

The 27-year-old, who was the first Australian Indigenous person to become a Commonwealth Games gold medallist aged 16 in 1990, comfortably raced away from Jamaica’s Lorraine Graham (silver) and Great Britain’s Katharine Merry (bronze).

After crossing the line to a thunderous applause, she sat on the track with head in hands, disappointed then she hadn’t run faster.

She said afterwards: ‘One thing that burns away at me is I know I could have run faster than what I actually have, but that’s fine.’

‘I actually crossed the line, looked across at the time – 49.11seconds – and was immediately disappointed because I would have loved to have run 48.

Determined: After crossing the line to a thunderous applause, Freeman sat on the track with head in hands, disappointed then she hadn't run faster

Determined: After crossing the line to a thunderous applause, Freeman sat on the track with head in hands, disappointed then she hadn’t run faster

‘I just remember leaning over, putting my hands around my knees and just shaking my head.’

Freeman’s comments captured her humility and determination.   

Her run goes down as one of the greatest Olympic performances in Australia’s history. 

During the 2000 games, Cathy was selected to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony, before later winning gold for her 400 metres run.

‘I won’t ever have the same fulfilling moment as I already have had,’ she explained. 

‘I don’t have the same hunger. I know what it takes to be a champion, to be the best in the world, and I just don’t have that feeling right now.’ 

Her career began at age 16, when she won gold as part of the 4 x 100 m relay team at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.

Fancy seeing you here! The boot camp doubled as a family outing, as Cathy was also joined by her husband James Murch and their daughter Ruby

Fancy seeing you here! The boot camp doubled as a family outing, as Cathy was also joined by her husband James Murch and their daughter Ruby

Out and about: Ruby was pictured riding her bicycle after her mother's boot camp session

Out and about: Ruby was pictured riding her bicycle after her mother’s boot camp session

The win made her one of the competition’s youngest stars and the first Indigenous Australian to win gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Cathy went on to score three more gold medals at subsequent Commonwealth Games, as well as a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

During her time in the spotlight, Cathy also made headlines for her love life and famously dated Australian actor Joel Edgerton.

Iconic: During the 2000 games, Cathy was selected to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony, before later winning gold for her 400 metres run

Iconic: During the 2000 games, Cathy was selected to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony, before later winning gold for her 400 metres run

Golden girl: Cathy's career began at age 16, when she won gold as part of the 4 x 100 m relay team at the Auckland Commonwealth Games. Pictured at the 2000 Olympics

Golden girl: Cathy’s career began at age 16, when she won gold as part of the 4 x 100 m relay team at the Auckland Commonwealth Games. Pictured at the 2000 Olympics

In 2016, she penned a heartfelt and encouraging letter to the Australian athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

‘You have achieved an incredible thing,’ she wrote in August 2016. 

‘Competing at an Olympic Games is simply life changing and nothing else you experience in your life will have quite the same impact on you as an athlete or a person.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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