In 2000, the Olympics were held in Sydney. That’s now more than 15 years ago! We left Australia on the first day of the games for a family trip to Denmark and England. At the airport in Sydney everyone was arriving for the games, as we were leaving the country – it felt really strange.
Our three girls were all teenagers and we were off on a holiday of a lifetime. My husband was going to Denmark for a short teacher exchange and we would do some travelling while he was busy. He had done something similar a few years earlier and we had hosted a Danish exchange student for a year, so we had lots of friends/family to catch up with while he was on his cultural exchange.
On the day that Cathy Freeman won her Olympic gold medal I was driving from one end of Denmark to the other, with the girls constantly reminding me that I had to be on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. In hindsight I think I was very brave!! Roundabouts were very stressful for us all but we made it out alive with some great stories to tell.
We had the radio on in the car (it wasn’t in English) and we knew Cathy Freeman was racing only because we recognised her name amongst all the Danish. We thought she had won because of the excited commentary but until we saw it on tv we couldn’t be sure. Later that day we were in a department store and noticed that they had the olympics on tv so stopped and watched the race. It was amazing being in another country seeing our home country hosting such a great event, not to mention seeing Cathy win gold!
The girls love telling the story of when I was driving that day, and I kept saying that ‘there’s a castle around here somewhere’. It was actually right in front of us but I was concentrating so hard I just couldn’t see it! We still laugh at the memories. The castle was Frederiksborg in Hillerod, a really beautiful and unmissable castle!
This story all started because I heard on the radio that it was 15 years ago today that Cathy Freeman won her gold medal and I was transported straight back to that special day with my daughters in Denmark.
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A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world. A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now loves reading, blogging, riding her ebike and a good cup of tea! Also known as Granny Debs to her 4 grandchildren.
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