Australia Day 2020: From Sir Don Bradman to Ian Thorpe, Here’re Some Great Sporting Icons From the Land Down Under

Akshay Surve

Australia Day, annually celebrated on January 26, is the official national day of Australia. It is a day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate and acknowledge the history of Australia. The nation has produced some of the greatest sportspersons we have ever seen. From cricket to tennis, from athletics to football, Australia has given the world more than its fair share of sports stars. So on the occasion of Australia Day, we take a look at some of the greatest sporting icons from ‘the Land Down Under’. Australia Day 2020 Date & Significance: History, Importance and Celebrations Related to the National Day of Australia.

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January 26 is an important date in Australia’s history and its significance has changed over time. Starting as a celebration for emancipated convicts to what it is now, a celebration of the nation’s diverse society and landscape. Australia has produced one of the most dominant cricket sides ever seen, the team led by the cricketing legend Ricky Ponting took over everything in their path as they won back-to-back world cups in 2003 and 2007. Many people believe that this side was even better than the great West Indian outfit from the late 1970s to early 1980s. Apart from cricket, Australia has made a great mark on various sports such as Football, Rugby and Tennis. So on their national day here are some of Australia’s great sportspersons. Australia Day 2020: From Inventing the Term 'Selfie' to Being Home to World's Largest National Highway, Fun Facts About the Country Down Under.

Don Bradman

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Arguably the greatest batsman in world cricket, Sir Don Bradman made his debut for Australia in November 1928 against England. His batting average of 99.94 in Test’s is been considered as the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport. Widely known as ‘The Don’, Bradman is something much more than just a cricketer for the people of Australia he is a legend.

John Eales

John Eales is a former Australian rugby union player and the most successful captain in the History of Australian rugby. He won the Rugby World Cup twice, first in 1991 and then in 1999 as captain and became one of the first players to win multiple world cups. He was given the nickname ‘Nobody’ because ‘Nobody’s perfect’.

Rod Laver

Australia has produced some great tennis players such as John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Margaret Court and Pat Rafter to name a few but Rod Laver was the most iconic of them all. Laver’s 200 singles titles are the most in tennis history which include 11 Grand Slams and is the only man to win the calendar-year Grand Slam twice, in 1962 and 1969. The Rod Laver Arena, the main venue for Australian Open is named after him.

Cathy Freeman

One of Australia’s greatest athletes of all time, Cathy Freeman cemented her legacy during the 2000 Sydney Olympics with arguably the country’s most celebrated Olympic moment. With the pressure of an entire nation on her shoulders, Freeman collected gold in the 400m final. To cap off the win she took a victory lap carrying both the Aboriginal and Australian flags, this was despite the fact that unofficial flags are banned at the Olympic Games.

Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe is a retired swimmer and he wrote his name the Australian folklore during the 2000 Games as well. A 17-year-old Thorpe collected three gold and two silver medals in the pool and was the most successful athlete at the Olympic Games in 2000. He has won five Olympic gold, the most by any Australian till date.