Cathy Freeman

woman with short hair and dark top in front of wall

Cathy Freeman

Australian Indigenous Olympic champion  

Cathy Freeman is a proud Kuku Yalanji woman. She is also an Australian Indigenous Olympic champion. In 1994 Cathy won gold in both the 200m and 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada. At the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, she won silver with a personal best time of 48.63s in the 400m. She was crowned World Champion in the same event at the World Athletic Championships the following year, was awarded Australian of the year in 1998, and was again World Champion in the 400m in 1999.

Cathy's most notable achievement, however, came in 2000 at the Olympic Games in Sydney. She became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony. She then went on to win the gold medal in the 400m, realizing a life-long dream. Cathy has had a long-term commitment to meditation which was not only a vital part of Cathy's mental preparation for her exceptional athletics performances on the track, but has remained an important source of inspiration in her life. Among Cathy's other notable achievements are:

  • 2001 Awarded Laureus Sportswoman of the Year
  • 2001 Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
  • 2001 Recipient of ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award
  • 2015 Recipient of the IOC Women and Sport Award (Oceania)
  • 2016 Appointed as a Member of the IOC Sport and Active Society Commission
  • 2018 Awarded the Australian Olympic Committee Order of Merit

Cathy has deep community engagement and has been ambassador for organisations such as Inspire and Cottage by the Sea. She founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation, which works with remote Indigenous communities to close the gap in education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children by offering incentives for children to attend school.

Cathy Freeman expresses her “great excitement of being part of such an incredible group of influencers in the field of mindfulness” and is invited to the Advisory Committee for her unique experience in contemplative practices in high performance contexts, and her extensive community engagement and charity work. Cathy expresses her “great excitement of being part of such an incredible group of influencers in the field of mindfulness”.