Celebrity News

Australian sporting legend Cathy Freeman meets the Matildas ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup

''You're writing your names in history.''
Loading the player...

Australian sporting legend Cathy Freeman has paid a visit to the Matildas training camp in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Sydney Olympics 400m champion surprised the team at their hotel in Brisbane, with the Matildas currently finalising their preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

As the team were called into an impromptu meeting by staff, with the Matildas quickly becoming engrossed in an excerpt of Freeman’s self-titled documentary.

With the team distracted, Freeman quietly snuck her way into the meeting room, with the Matildas soon becoming overjoyed once they became aware of the presence of their sporting hero.

Freeman joined the Matildas at their World Cup training camp.

(Image: Instagram)

“The power of you just being here, it’s unimaginable. It’s beyond your wildest dreams what you’re going to be able to do,” Freeman told the team.

The Australian Olympic legend also offered her heartwarming insight to the Matildas about the impact of their presence in the Women’s World Cup, telling the team, “you’re going to be able to get into the blood of everybody who’s on the journey with you.”

“It’s just a crazy, wild ride, and you’re writing your names in history ladies, and you should be really proud of that.”

Freeman reportedly spent over an hour with the team, and while the 50-year-old offered great wisdom in multiple areas, the Matildas drew particular inspiration from Freeman’s reflections on self-motivation as an athlete.

“It comes from a place within. When you ask yourself, what are you doing here? What are you doing it for? It’s because you love who you are when you’re doing it,” Freeman told the team.

Freeman’s 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medal performance is regarded as one of Australia’s most iconic sporting moments.

(Image: Getty)

The team were visibly moved by Freeman’s visit, with Sam Kerr telling her hero, “You are an inspiration to this whole team. It’s been an honour to have you. You’ve been an idol of all of ours for so long and what you did for us as a country, hopefully we can replicate even half of that.”

“I think Cathy’s visit left us feeling very excited. The hopes to inspire a nation and to achieve something similar in a totally different realm,” reflected goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

Freeman’s position in Australian sport has served as a lasting inspiration for many Australians. Throughout her career, Freeman became the first Indigenous Australian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and remains Australia’s most successful Indigenous Olympic athlete.

“Watching her at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, I think was the first moment that I saw a really powerful, proud Indigenous woman,” said Matildas forward Kyah Simon.

The Matildas will hope to inspire the next generation of female athletes.

(Image: Getty)

The Matildas kick-off at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on July 20 at 8pm. Find out where to watch here.

Related stories