2000 Sydney Paralympic Games

The 2000 Paralympic Games were held in Sydney, Australia, from 18 to 29 October. The Sydney games were the 11th Summer Paralympic Games, where an estimated 3,800 athletes took part in the program. They commenced with the opening ceremony on 18 October 2000. It was followed by the 11 days of fierce international competition and was the second largest sporting event ever held in Australia. They were also the first Paralympic Games outside the Northern Hemisphere. This was the last edition of the Paralympic Summer Games which was run independently of the Summer Olympics, although efforts to unify the two events had already begun at that time and some areas of both such as the Olympic Village and the operational areas were merged for the first time.

Torch Relay

The event, which commenced with a lighting ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra on 5 October 2000, involved 920 torchbearers, each of whom carried the flame an average of 500 metres. After visiting each capital city (except Sydney) by air, the relay travelled in New South Wales (NSW) from Moss Vale through the Southern Highlands, Illawarra, Campbelltown, Penrith, Windsor, Hunter and Central Coast areas before heading to Sydney. The Paralympic torch entered the stadium and was passed from Katrina Webb to Louise Sauvage who then lit the cauldron.

The Paralympic Torch began its journey through NSW with a community breakfast celebration in the Southern Highland’s hamlet of Moss Vale, led by Australian football legend, Tony ‘Plugger’ Lockett. Plugger was met by a roaring crowd as he lit the community cauldron at Moss Vale Showgrounds and then obligingly signed caps, shirts and flags for the fans.

Two FDC for the torch relay were produced by Alpha Covers on the first day of issue for the two 45c stamps showing an athlete with the Paralympic Torch and the Games Logo.

Australia Post released two maximum cards of an athlete in Stadium Australia and the other of the inside of Stadium Australia.