Cathy Freeman is an Australian track and field athlete. She was the first Aborigine ever to compete in the Olympics. When Cathy won the 400-meter world championship in 1997, she ran a victory lap carrying two flags: one of her country, Australia, the other of her people, the Aboriginals. It showed her strong sense of national and ethnic pride.
Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman was born on February 16, 1973 in Mackay, Queensland, Australia.
Freeman had a difficult childhood. Both her younger sister and her father died. Her mother encouraged her to pursue her interest in athletics.
At the age of 15, she competed at the National School Championships.
By the time Freeman was 17 years old, she had won a gold medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and been named Young Australian of the Year.