It’s Australia Day which means there is no better time to reminisce about some of our nation’s “true blue”, “fair-dinkum” Aussie sports legends.
1. Jumpin Jai Taurima
The one person most people remember from the Sydney Olympics is Cathy Freeman. Well for me it’s Jumpin’ Jai Taurima.
With a training regime of a pack of cigarettes a day, pizza and hamburgers, Jumpin’ Jai came from nowhere to win Olympic silver and be the cult hero of the Games.
2. “Aussie” Guus Hiddink
Aussie Guus was the mastermind behind the Socceroos phenomenal 2006 World Cup performance that was only derailed when they were “robbed” by an extra time penalty to Italy.
Guus is sure to be cracking open a tinnie and listening to Khe Sanh this arvo.
3. Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman’s effort at the Sydney 2000 Olympics was a moment few Australians will ever forget.
I don’t think any individual Aussie athlete before or since was put under the same pressure Freeman was in 2000. But she handled it unbelievably well. Cathy you legend.
4. Andrew Symonds
Simmo once famously didn’t turn up to an Australian team meeting because he wanted to go fishing. It doesn’t get more Aussie than that.
If that isn’t enough for you, check out this shirtfront he unleashed on a streaker. Onya Simmo!
5. Don Bradman
The Don isn’t on this list because of his 99.94 batting average, he is here because of the way he honed his cricketing skills as a youngster.
Legend has it Bradman used to use a cricket stump to hit a golf ball against a water tank stand in his backyard in Bowral. Bradman said the (unusual) practice helped him develop his freakish hand-eye coordination.
6. Steven Bradbury
Steven Bradbury really typifies the classic Aussie battler and “never say die” spirit. When Bradbury rocked up to the 2002 Winter Olympics few people gave him any chance of making the 1000m speed skating final, let alone getting a medal.
But Bradbury produced his own adaptation of The tortoise and the hare story to deliver one of the most famous Aussie Olympic moments of all time.
7. Nick Cummins aka The Honey Badger
This bloke is so Aussie he was chosen by Tourism Australia as a brand ambassador. Although given they also chose Lara Bingle I’m not sure it’s necessarily a good thing.
One look at this interview though and you’ll see why Cummins made this list. He puts Alf Stewart to shame, stone the flamin’ crows!