The sound of 100,000-plus voices singing Waltzing Matilda had eight-year-old Anna Flanagan standing on her seat for a better view of history unfolding below.
Clad in full-length overalls and binoculars in hand, all Flanagan wanted was a mere glimpse of her childhood hero Cathy Freeman on that September evening in 2000.
Her bedroom walls in Canberra were covered with posters of Freeman and Winnie the Pooh. And by the mistake of event staff, the Hockeyroo-to-be found herself watching her idol step onto the Sydney Olympics track in that swift suit.
The Flanagan family were given tickets to the wrong event and scored seats for the women's 400-metre final.
When the silence fell over the stadium, Flanagan joined the nation and held her breath, too - waiting for the starter pistol to crack the night air and Freeman to launch from lane six.
"There was silence and then everyone was screaming. I think everyone was just nervous as well and thought 'what if she doesn't win?'" Flanagan said.
"It totally erupted. Then people were hugging, it was unreal. I had to stand on my chair because I couldn't see, everyone was standing and I was little - we even had binoculars because we were so high up.
"It was just the coolest thing. It was so iconic and she was in that suit. From what I can remember, I followed her journey and cut out every time she was in the newspaper or magazines. My room was covered. It's cliche but she inspired a nation."
Three-hundred kilometres away, a young Mel Breen sat glued to her television in Canberra. She watched Freeman pull away at the final stretch and finish the clear winner, crossing at 49.11 seconds.
Like former Hockeyroo Flanagan, the Sydney Olympics inspired Breen to pursue her sporting dream. She went on to become the fastest female sprinter in Australia, a two-time Olympian and compete at three Commonwealth Games.
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The 20-year anniversary of the Sydney Games has brought back memories of that initial spark, Breen saying it's been special to relive Freeman's iconic race.
"Everyone held their breath for that 49 seconds, just hoping and wanting for that fairytale finish," Breen said.
"She's such an amazing woman, she is, and was, for Australia in so many aspects.
"We spent some time together at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, I'm very blessed to have shared some great moments with Cathy."
Australians are reliving the magic of Freeman's gold-medal win in the new documentary Freeman, which was aired last week by the ABC.
The Laurence Billiet-directed film documents Freeman's personal pursuit to win Olympic gold, as well as the cultural environment in which it took place - one where the country was reckoning with the past injustices of its First Nations people.
I couldn't imagine the pressure Cathy would have been under - the fact she lit the cauldron, had so much media on her all the time and was still able to win gold at a home Olympics. It's so incredible.Two-time Olympian Lauren Boden
Freeman's victory came just a few months after the Walk for Reconciliation, with the track athlete carrying the weight of the nation's aspirations over the finish line.
Two-time Olympian Lauren Boden says only through her own experiences she's been able to "properly appreciate performances like Freeman's and how special they are."
The 400-metre hurdler, who is also a primary school teacher, watched the documentary and was touched by the different angles on Freeman's Olympics journey.
"Cathy was a huge instigator of the movement in terms of the acknowledgement that Indigenous people have rightfully been given since then," Boden said.
"I think that was a really personal side to the documentary that I think a lot of people were unaware of.
"It's nice for the public that there's more to us than being an athlete, than just running on the track and putting on the green and gold. We represent a lot more than that. While results are great, what else do we stand for? What else do we believe in?
"Being an athlete and going to two Olympic Games, I couldn't imagine the pressure Cathy would have been under - the fact she lit the cauldron, had so much media on her all the time and was still able to win gold at a home Olympics. It's so incredible."
Flanagan, Breen and Boden all made their Olympics debut at the London Games, with the former two having since retired.
Boden, 32, is chasing a third Olympics berth at the rescheduled Tokyo Games, which has a standard of 55.40 seconds for the women's 400 metre hurdles event.
She returned to hurdles work this week at the AIS track and plans to hit the domestic athletics season in December.
"I'm in no rush to get out and do any racing at the moment because we can't actually run any qualifiers that count until December 1," Boden said.
"Just making sure the body is right, the head is right and everything is tracking in the right direction. There's just always going to be that air of uncertainty whether Nationals can ever happen, if we can travel to competitions or have to stay in Canberra.
"I think I'm in a fortunate position in Canberra as we have one of the fastest tracks in Australia, so in terms of putting out good performances I probably don't have to travel.
"I'm looking forward to getting as fit and fast as I can now and seeing what that'll produce when the season rolls out."