Sydney 2000 Paralympics: Tim Sullivan, Lisa Llorens, Siobhan Paton and more

Sydney 2000 Paralympics: Tim Sullivan, Lisa Llorens, Siobhan Paton and more
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Tim Sullivan OAM is an elite Australian athlete with cerebral palsy. As we see here, Sullivan had an incredible Paralympic Games in 2000, winning 5 gold medals. He won a total of 10 gold medals over his Paralympic career, which spanned 2000 to Beijing 2008.

Veteran ABC newsreader Richard Morecroft introduces a highlights package of Day 9 of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games reported by ABC sports reporter Duncan Huntsdale.

The package also includes a brief highlight of sprinter Lisa McIntosh OAM winning the 200m for athletes with cerebral palsy. She won a total of 7 medals, 5 of them gold, across her Paralympic career.

Even just seeing those last few seconds of the race and a close-up of her crossing the finish line and looking at her time are enough to give viewers the adrenaline rush we typically associate with TV news sports coverage.

Coverage from multiple angles and including the sound of the crowd adds excitement to the story for television viewers.

Next Huntsdale calls Lisa Llorens OAM ‘Australia’s golden girl of track and field’, and it’s easy to see why, as she speeds across the screen decked out in green and gold before taking an impressive jump.

Llorens, born in Canberra, specialises in Paralympic high jumping, long jumping and sprinting, participating in competitions for athletes with autism. She won a total of 6 medals, 4 of them gold, at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.

Next we see exhilarating highlights from the gold medal win for the mixed 3-person sonar parasailing event featuring Noel Robins, Graeme Martin and Jamie Dunross.

Mark le Flohic OAM won 4 medals, 2 of them gold, across his road cycling career. The race we see excerpted here is the mixed Tricycle Time Trial CP Div 4 event. Peter Homann OAM won 7 medals at 3 Games from 1996 to 2004. The event we see a second of here is his gold medal ride in the mixed Bicycle Road Race CP Div 4.

David Hall and David Johnson are jubilant in defeat here as they win a silver medal in the Men’s tennis doubles.

Canberra schoolgirl Siobhan Paton won many hearts at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics winning a total of 6 gold medals for Australia and we see footage of one of her victories here.

This dynamic and comparatively thorough segment capitalises on Australia’s success at the Games in combination with stunning, professionally shot sports footage. The result of combining the stories together, with Huntsdale uttering the words ‘gold medal’ and ‘world record’ over and over, conveys Australia’s success at the Games.

The Seven Network was the official broadcaster of the Sydney 2000 Olympics but were only interested in brief highlights of the Paralympics, so the ABC’s coverage remains the most complete. It is refreshing to see that, rather than focusing on the disabilities of these athletes, the coverage showcases their sporting achievements.

Excerpt from ABC News Sydney, 27 October 2000.

Notes by Beth Taylor