Cathy Freeman by M. Nicole Nazzaro

Cathy Freeman at the
Sydney Olympic Games
Victah Sailer / Photo Run,1300,1-0-0-ZNEWS,00.html

Cathy Freeman, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist at 400 meters, has made 2003
her comeback season after two years of frustration and setbacks. Freeman,
30, won her Olympic medal under the most pressured of circumstances: in her
home country and having been pegged as the sentimental favorite after
lighting the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony. Currently training in
the San Francisco Bay Area, she competed at the Prefontaine Classic in
Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, finishing fifth in the 400 meters.

Runner’s World Daily: You’ve said this is your comeback year. What do you
feel you’re coming back from?
Cathy Freeman: I’m coming back from a long time of not being an athlete, of
not having that passion and desire that I had in the lead-up to the Olympic
Games in Sydney. I’m enjoying the challenge, and I’m loving my running more
than ever, and if anything I have the desire to be really patient because I
think if I wasn’t patient, I would have been injured by now. I would have
pushed myself way too hard wanting everything yesterday.

RWD: What do you do the morning after you win an Olympic gold medal?
CF: I didn’t do anything special. After the race that night, I went and
warmed down, I got a drug test, press, media conference, went and got a
massage, got driven back to the apartment, and got a take-home Indian meal
with my brothers and cousin and parents. The next morning I forced my
husband to go shopping. I went and got a watch, a Cartier watch. We just had

RWD: Was there a letdown after that race?
CF: Yeah! It was a childhood dream of mine since I was ten to win an Olympic
gold medal, so when I finally crossed the line, I think I
just…(exhales)…Because when you push yourself that hard, every day, for
years, it’s going to make you tired. And when you feed off the expectations
of people around you, that makes you tired as well.

RWD: What’s your most recent race coming into the Prefontaine this weekend?
CF: A 300-meter race in Mexico City on May 3. Ana Guevara won in a
world-record time [35.30], and I got a PR [36.42]. When I lined up for the
race, I wasn’t very confident!

RWD: Tell us about your goals for 2003.
CF: I’m thinking about what I’m able to do, more than ever, which is
something I’m certainly not used to. I’m trying to be really low-key about
my goal, and of course when it comes to going public about them I’m going to
be even more low-key! I’m looking just to get fit, looking to improve on
every performance, I’m obviously wanting to become more competitive with the
leaders in the event at this point, like Ana. She’s the best in the world
right now–she’s the hunted. And it’s fun being the hunter for a change. I
understand so well what it’s like to be the hunted. So now I’m the hunter!
And I’m enjoying myself.


I read that Cathy Freeman has been asked by Marion Jones if she (Cathy) wanted to train with her, or at least work on her, Cathy’s, speed.