Aussie players return to Blacktown Olympic Park 20 years after Sydney 2000 Games

Aussie players return to Blacktown Olympic Park 20 years after Sydney 2000 Games
Fiona Crawford and Glenn Williams represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 Olympics in softball and baseball respectively.

Photo: The National Tribune

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games were celebrated 20 years ago from 15 September to 1 October. Softball was played at Blacktown Olympic Park in Blacktown, located 26 kilometres from the Sydney Olympic Park (SOP) at the western Sydney area. The complex also included the second stadium of the baseball competition -- the main stadium was located at SOP.

To mark the 20th anniversary, former Australian Olympic softball and baseball players, Fiona Crawford and Glenn Williams, returned to the 2000 Sydney Olympic site and reflected on the Games. The story was produced and published by The National Tribune.

Crawford, a two time Olympic softball medallist, was Australia’s starting second base for every game at the Sydney Olympics and hit .217 with two doubles, as the Aussies won the bronze medal. “My career highlight at the Games was when we beat the USA in the 13th inning in the early rounds of the competition.

“My proudest moment was being presented with the Olympic Bronze Medal in the pouring rain by AOC President John Coates,” recalled Crawford, who also won a silver medal in Athens 2004.

Williams is a two-time Olympic third baseman who played 13 games in the Major Leagues with the Minnesota Twins. He hit .111 in Sydney 2000, and four years later was a key member of the Athens 2004 silver medallist Australian team.

“My proudest moment was making my debut for Australia at the age of 23 in the first game of the baseball series at the 2000 Olympics here in the Blacktown Olympic Park.” Williams said.

The Blacktown Olympic Park was specifically built for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The venue included three softball fields, each with the same infield and outfield compositions. The softball stadium has a seating capacity of 8,500 spectators and currently serves as the main training centre for the Australian National Softball Team. The Blacktown Olympic Park is the venue for the annual Australia Pacific Cup and the innovative Summer Slam - Fully Loaded Softball.