Fire dept. installs new alarms

first_imgThe Notre Dame Fire Department (NDFD) recently upgraded 16 residence halls with new fire alarm systems, in hopes of creating a safer and more hospitable environment on campus, and will install better alarms in other buildings as well, Notre Dame Fire Department Chief William Farhat said. Mike McCauslin, assistant director for Risk Management and Safety, arranged funding of the project. “Concerns had been expressed by both students and rectors about actually hearing the fire alarms,” McCauslin said. “Older dorms only had alarms in common spaces and corridors throughout the residence hall, not in individual rooms.” The new system is built with sounder-based technology, McCauslin said. This technology placed an actual alarm in every room in these residence halls, and residents will be able to hear the alarm at all times. “The newer West Quad residence halls were built with sounder-based technology enhanced fire alarm systems,” McCauslin said. “We recently identified the halls that did not have those types of alarms. The Office of Risk Management and Safety then went to the University to ask for funding, which was then granted.” Farhat also played a major role in the efforts to upgrade the fire systems in various dorms. “This is a progressing project which got its start in August and will be going on until March,” Farhat said. “It is difficult to upgrade systems when the halls are occupied, but this project, while expensive, is one that the University felt was necessary.” The 16 dorms across campus to received newer systems recently tested the new alarms recently to ensure their effectiveness, Farhat said. During the test, NDFD did not find a flawed system in any of the dorms. The 16 residence halls were merely the first goal of Notre Dame’s fire alarm renovation project. “In addition to the 16 dorms that were upgraded, University Village and other off-campus apartments associated with Notre Dame will also be revamped,” Farhat said. Farhat said NDFD does more work on campus than respond to fires. The majority of calls received per school year do not concern fires. “NDFD takes about 13,000 calls per school year,” Farhat said. “While not all of them deal with fire-related issues, it is important all on-campus residents understand the importance and severity of a potential fire. The four fire drills required by the Indiana Fire Code are an essential aspect in creating a safe, emergency-free atmosphere.” McCauslin said he believes students and staff should be elated to have these new alarms. “The Notre Dame community should be thrilled that the University continues to invest in their safety,” McCauslin said. “When you look across the country at the number of fires that occur on college campuses, Notre Dame continues to make great strides in reducing the chances of potential disasters and promoting the lifestyle and safety of its residents.”last_img read more

They Can’t Take That Away from Him! Robert Fairchild Says Goodbye to An American in Paris

first_imgHe’ll always have Paris. Robert Fairchild will dance his last steps as Jerry Mulligan on the Great White Way on March 13, exactly one year since his first bow. The American in Paris Tony nominee will return to New York City Ballet as the company’s principal dancer. caught Fairchild before he said au revoir to Broadway and asked him all about what he’ll miss, what he learned and how he’s grown during his experience making his Broadway debut.How did you feel when you first got this job?Elated. This was my ultimate dream. I had always wanted to be on Broadway and Gene Kelly was the reason why I wanted to become a dancer. So getting to play the role he originated on screen and perform at the Palace Theatre night after night was a dream come true.How do you feel now that you’re leaving?It all feels so weird. It’s bittersweet. I know I need to give my body a rest from doing the same thing over and over again. Repetition on Broadway is a different kind of wear and tear on the body than the variety you get in the ballet world. In order to stay physically healthy, I need to give my body something different to do after a year of the same show…especially if I’m to go back to the NYC Ballet and be in the physical demands of white tights again. And that’s nothing against the demands of Broadway’s dancing. They are just different beasts, but both beasts nonetheless. With that said, coming in to the last week of this experience, I find myself mostly sad. I’m leaving a deeply rooted family. It feels like a mini retirement. In the ballet world you are constantly moving on to the next piece, and the most you work on something is two months. You don’t leave the company until you retire. Rehearsals and performances for this show have gone on for the last three years of my life. Because of my ballet background the only way I can wrap my head around this feeling is like I’m retiring from this experience. It’s very scary. But what an incredible place I also call home that I’m going back to. Bittersweet.What are three words you would use to describe your experience?Life-changing, beautiful.What was the easiest thing about this job?The people I got to work with and learn from. Dancing to Gershwin. I loved Gershwin before, but I love him even more now.What was the hardest thing?Singing and acting, and the repetition. All things I had never done before. Now I feel so much more comfortable with all of those things. But before I was so nervous to even open my mouth because I hadn’t figured out how to manage doing all of these while dancing at the highest standard I could. I am a perfectionist, and I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to train as hard as I could to feel like I could qualify myself to sing next to the amazing Broadway veterans I got to work with!What was the highlight of your time at this job?I know awards are just the cherry on top to what we get to do as performers. It’s not the incredible hot fudge sundae that is the work that we do. I try and find all of my satisfaction in the work. But I must say, sitting next to my wife and winning the Drama Desk for Best Actor in a Musical…ACTOR…I was so humbled and shocked beyond belief. I worked my butt off for the past three years to try and be as authentic and believable as possible in the role, because I didn’t think I was good enough. It was such an amazing thing to receive and made me feel like anything is possible if you try your hardest and put yourself out there.What skills do you think are required for future job applicants?I don’t know how you would explain this other than to say, someone with a strong work ethic who wants to soak up new information like a sponge and never stop growing. The only way to be right for the role is to have the highest ballet training, a natural voice and an authentic charisma on stage. It’s impossible to find all that in one person. I trained hard and told myself to never stop learning or taking class. It takes someone with that kind of drive and determination to sing and act alongside people who have trained in musical theater just as long as you have trained in ballet. It’s a technique just like ballet is. And in ballet you never stop training; thus, I felt the same way with singing and acting. Never stop learning and growing.What advice would you give to future employees in your job position?Soak it up! It’s a wild beautiful ride.How do you think you’ve grown? OMG. I think I’ve grown in every direction. Unless you’re talking about physically and let’s hope I didn’t grow horizontally. I have learned so much. I will say the most fascinating thing I learned is the specificity of a moment in acting. It’s all in the details. I so look forward to bringing that kind of work back with me to the ballet.Why are you leaving?I have two bosses at the moment, as I am also employed by the NYC Ballet. So I am heading back to Lincoln Center just in time for NYC Ballet’s spring season.What will you miss the most?The people, singing and acting. The whole experience. An American in Paris View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 9, 2016last_img read more

Waitress’ Jessie Mueller on Being Attention’s Sweet Center

first_img Waitress headliner Jessie Mueller is as sweet as pie—modest too! The Beautiful Tony winner did not expect her 2016 Tony nomination on the morning of May 3. “I actually slept in that morning,” she said when she stopped by The Today Show on June 3. Well, the cast recording is out today, and those powerful pipes are to pie for! (The Today Show was lucky enough to get a taste of the tuner previously.) On top of keeping that cast recording on repeat all weekend, be sure to watch Mueller test her diner lingo knowledge below, and catch Waitress at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre! Jessie Mueller View Comments Jessie Mueller Waitresscenter_img Star Files Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020last_img read more

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 3 – December 9

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Burn HaloMeshing ferocious death metal with lead singer James Hart’s elegant vocals, these genre-defying hellraisers appeases the mainstream audience and counterculture shredders alike. Albums such as Up From the Ashes and Wolves of War and their latest single “Dying Without You” excites even the most casual listeners of rock and metal. Opening the show is Black Tide, Sycamour, Everlit, Fight Of The Century and Halo To Havoc. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. 6:30 p.m. December 3.The Book of KringleSanta will be reading from The Book of Kringle: Legend of the North Pole. The reading will be followed by a book signing by the authors, Derek Velez Partridge and Mary Packard. Come down and tell the big guy just how much you love him climbing through your chimney each year, eating all your chocolate chip cookies and gulpin’ down all your milk. Man that dude’s got the life, huh? Gets to grow his fur out mad long, dress up in slick bright red threads, cruise around on flying reindeer, and is socially accepted, even revered! While you’re there, tell the rolly fella you’d like a year’s supply of Greek food! (We know some Press staffers sure do!) Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. Price of book. 7 p.m. December 3.Roz ChastThis cartoonist is a brilliant interpreter of the everyday. Her cartoons depict neuroses, hilarity, angst and domesticity, and are loaded with words, objects and patterns. More than 1,000 of them have been printed in The New Yorker since 1978. Join us in a moderated conversation with audience Q & A and a book signing to follow. VIP includes a reception. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. $39.50. 8 p.m. December 3.Mike DelGuidice & Big ShotThis is the only Billy Joel tribute band featuring musicians, namely Mike DelGuidice, who have actually shared a stage with the most famous Long Islander, The Piano Man, himself. Big Shot schedules tour dates around Billy Joel’s monthly Madison Square Garden concerts. A true fan, DelGuidice guarantees a proper homage to his idol. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. $20-$40. 8 p.m. December 3.Fred Astaire Dance Studio Grand Opening EventEnjoy an evening of exceptional local food, fine wine, music and dance at the grand opening celebration of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Huntington! Festivities will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, professional ballroom dance performances, student exhibitions, raffle drawings and a social dance party! Get up out of your seat and dance, dance, dance! Doors open at 5 p.m. with dancing lasts until 8 p.m. This is a free community event! Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 132 West Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station. Free. 5 p.m. December 3.Eileen Ivers “An Nollaig” An Irish ChristmasEileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul capture the spirit and magic of the season in their heartwarming holiday show. Nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and music star of Riverdance, Eileen Ivers, will change the way you think about the violin. Hailed as one of the great innovators and pioneers in the Celtic and World Music genres, Ivers has established herself as the pre-eminent exponent of the Irish fiddle in the world today. You seriously do not want to miss this super-fiddle madness unleashed in all its stringed and bowed glory! Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. $40-$45. 8 p.m. December 4.Eric Burdon & The Animals Fifty years since this great band took over the airwaves at the forefront of the British Invasion, the band is back on tour so you can relive the legendary singles such as “Baby, Let Me Take You Home” and “House of the Rising Sun,” and enjoy so much more of their powerful repertoire as it evolved over the years, from San Francisco to New Castle. With Burdon’s soulful vocals, they’re the definition of classic rock and roll. But the Dec. 4th show has been postponed to Feb. 6. Opening the original Dec. 4th show was going to be Leslie West, a legendary rock guitarist in his right, who put Mountain on the map. But the rescheduled Eric Burdon & the Animals concert will now open with Randy Jackson of Zebra. Ticketholders can hold onto their tickets or exchange them. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. $30-$65. 8 p.m. December 4 [Rescheduled!].Hammer of the GodsConsidered by many to be “The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience,” come witness the mind-blowing tunes of the band that changed rock and roll forever in a two-hour multimedia retrospective of Led Zeppelin with selections from every album! The New York Times raves: “It’s a hot ticket!” Wowzler, Batman. Wowzler. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. $30-$40. 8 p.m. December 5.Jingle Bell Bottom BallThe second annual disco-themed holiday show lights up the opening nights of the festive season. Groove out to performances from Disco Unlimited, The Trammps, Machine, and Archie Bell, all guaranteed to score a little holiday cheer. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. $49.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. December 5.Classic Albums Live – A Very Lennon Christmas“Imagine” a voice synonymous with charm and wisdom. “Come Together” with fellow loving fans, as John Lennon’s best music is honored in an emotional night of sublime rock divinity. Raise a glass as you and your loved ones remember this gifted soul as we approach the anniversary of his slaying (Dec. 8) and what would have been his 75th birthday this past Oct. 9. We love you, John. [Read All About Lennon’s Amazing Time Living On Long Island HERE] The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. $15-$45. 8 p.m. December 5.Doo Wop ExtravaganzaDo it up doo-wop style with this amazing lineup! Take a trip down memory lane with classic hits by the Duprees, the Tymes, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, the Classics, Johnny Farina of Santo & Johnny, the Eternals and Kathy Young. Guaranteed to deliver a great night of music and memories, this show will have you singing “skiddly bop doo-bee-doo weeee” all the way home! (Yes, this is a very good thing!) NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. $39.50-$49.50. 3 p.m. December 6.Robert Irvine What happens when you mix cooking, physical challenges, audience participation and dancing? A Robert Irvine LIVE performance, of course! The king of food challenges and Food Network celebrity chef has starred in Dinner: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America, Restaurant: Impossible and Restaurant Express. He’s also faced off against the best of the best in the Iron Chef competitions. Nothing is impossible when it comes to Robert Irvine, and every show is unique. He always needs some culinary assistants, so be prepared to get invited on stage! Maybe he’ll sign your spatulas! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. $25-$149.50. 8 p.m. December 6.Laughs For Eddie Dunn: Share smiles, laughs and love while helping Eddie and his family beat cancer at The Brokerage Comedy Club in Bellmore on Dec. 6!Laughs For Eddie DunnEddie Dunn has a big heart. He loves his family and friends, loves playing pool, and loves making people smile. After his father passed away a few years ago, Eddie stepped up to the plate for his family, taking on not only his dad’s responsibilities looking over the well-being of his mother, three sisters and two grandchildren, but continuing to share love and joy to those in desperate need, donning his father’s colorful costume, hat and face paint as a clown alongside his mother, spreading laughter to children and the elderly alike. This must-attend fundraising event is furtherance of that tradition, as comedians take to the mic and tell jokes, now in Eddie’s honor. Eddie and his family need your help. At 40 years old, Eddie has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, and this sinister disease has spread to his blood and bones. Eddie’s not a quitter, and will never give up the fight, or hope. Come down and share a laugh or three with this special, much loved man. Join Eddie, his family, and friends, in this extraordinary expression of life, love and laughs. Help fight this insidious disease, and help spread some light in the process. If you can’t make it, read more about Eddie, his plight, visit and contribute to Eddie Dunn’s Go Fund Me account: Eddie, his family, and all his friends Thank You from the bottom of their hearts. The Brokerage, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. For tickets, call 516-798-2989 or 516-655-1424. $25 Donation. Doors open at 6 p.m. Showtime: 7:30 p.m. December 6.Rob ThomasThis three-time Grammy winner, power-pop god and award-winning songwriter has worked with industry icons such as Mick Jagger, Willie Nelson and Santana. And who wouldn’t want to work with him? Between his work with Matchbox Twenty and his solo career, Thomas has penned a string of chart toppers including “3AM,” “Disease,” and of course, “Smooth,” Billboard’s number-one pick on their list of “Top Hot 100 Rock Songs.” His latest album The Great Unknown, is diverse, showcasing just how unique his songwriting can be. No one does it like Thomas, so don’t miss this show! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. $49.50-$89.50. 8 p.m. December 8.Third Eye BlindQuite possibly the most awesomest thing to come out of San Francisco (besides all that scrumptious, scrumptious sushi, of course), these iconic rockers are heading to Long Island in support of their latest drop, Dopamine. If frontman Stephan Jenkins keeps his word, this will be the band’s last album. So don’t miss this opportunity to relive your ’90s angst with “How’s It Going To Be” and rock out to their rousing anthem, “Semi Charmed Life.” Jenkins and the boys are going to own the stage, and you need to be there! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. $49.50-$89.50. 8 p.m. December 9.–Compiled by Timothy Bolger, Desiree D’orio & Zachary B. Tirana IIIlast_img read more

20-year IMCA sponsor Bassett Race Wheels gives Stock Car, SportMod track champion awards

first_imgBURLINGTON, Wis. – Bassett Race Wheels continues a contingency award benefitting drivers in three divisions this season, its 20th as a marketing partner with IMCA. IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod track champions all earn $60 product certificates, which can be applied toward the pur­chase of four wheels from the Burlington, Wis., manufacturer. National champions in each of those divisions also receive sets of four wheels. Equally of note, Bassett returns to the national decal program for both Northern SportMods and Southern SportMods and drivers in both classes must display two Bas­sett decals on their race car to be eligible for contingencies. Information about Bassett-made wheels is available at the web­site. “The pursuit of national championships is always very tight and one of the incentive programs we’re pleased to bring back is the set of wheels for our Stock Car and SportMod champs,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “Brandon Czarapata, Matt Looft and Gabe Tucker received their sets last season and we’ll see who rises to the top this year.”last_img read more

Misbah ‘most likely’ to face West Indies

first_imgMISBAH-ul-Haq has revealed that he is “most likely” to prolong his Pakistan career and play in the Test series against West Indies.The veteran Pakistan Test captain stated late in January that he plans to make a decision on his future within a month after he came in for criticism following a poor tour of Australia.Misbah was out of sorts with the bat against Steve Smith’s side, scoring just 76 runs across the three Tests.But Misbah said he would not make a call on whether to play on at international level before leading Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League [PSL].And the 42-year-old appears to have made his mind up ahead of a three-match Test series in the Caribbean – which gets under way on April 22.He told ESPNcricinfo: “It was tough on me recently with my form but now overall everything is going well so far [in the PSL],“I am spending time in middle, hitting the ball pretty well. Played practice matches before the PSL started and had sessions of range hitting so getting confidence with every passing game.“I am also enjoying the game so it’s most likely that I am going to the West Indies. I always believed if had to go [and play cricket] then I have to go with form and confidence otherwise there was no point of going.”last_img read more

AB de Villiers undecided on Test future

first_imgAB de Villiers remains undecided about his Test future after missing South Africa’s series defeat in England.The 33-year-old batsman missed the tour because he “needed a bit of time away from the game”.The Proteas unsuccessfully tried three different batsmen at number four in their 3-1 loss to Villiers’ agent told BBC Sport nothing has been decided, but South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said he does not expect him to return.du Plessis, who had de Villiers as his best man at his wedding, said: “We spend too much time talking about if he is going to come back.“We have to move past the hope of his coming back and find someone who is going to fulfil that role. If he comes back it’s a huge bonus, but I don’t expect it.”de Villiers, who has more than 8 000 Test runs at an average of 50.46, has not played a Test since January 2016.South Africa’s next assignment is a home series against Bangladesh, starting on September 28.(BBC Sport)last_img read more

Brown signs new Harlequins deal

first_imgFull-back Mike Brown has extended his Harlequins contract until 2014.Brown, who has three England caps, was Quins’ player of the year last season and has made over 150 appearances for the club, scoring 50 tries.“Mike embodies everything a professional rugby player should be and everything we want of a player here,” said Quins director of rugby Conor O’Shea.AdChoices广告“We are delighted Mike has committed himself to the club for effectively the next three seasons and look forward to helping him achieve his goals, both with Harlequins and England.”Brown added: “I am excited to have re-signed to a club that I am so enjoying being a part of.“Having Conor O’Shea has been great for the club and I believe he can improve my game even more, and hopefully I can look to achieve more international honours in the future.”last_img read more

Volleyball: No. 3 Badgers kick off conference play against Ohio Sate, Maryland

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin volleyball team opens up Big Ten play this weekend with a two-game stint against No. 19 Ohio State University and the University of Maryland. The No. 3 Badgers (8-1) return to Madison after two weeks of battling on the road.Wisconsin is fresh off one of its toughest stretches to date. The Badgers rose to the occasion with a 3-0 win at then-No. 16 Texas A&M University Friday, followed by a thrilling 3-2 comeback win at then-No. 2 University of Texas Sunday.Volleyball: Texas A&M and Texas Away Game RecapThe University of Wisconsin volleyball team made a commanding statement this weekend after sweeping No. 16 Texas A&M University and Read…UW finished non-conference play with four wins over ranked opponents and only one loss, which came on the road to a talented University of North Carolina team.The squad is hoping to secure two early wins in the Big Ten this weekend, but they will have to earn them given this year’s competition across the conference. In this week’s poll, the Big Ten boasts a total of eight teams ranked in the top 25, including all three of the top teams in the country.The first matchup of the weekend for the Badgers comes against the talented, but inconsistent Buckeyes (10-2) Friday night. Ohio State is traveling to Madison with the intention of extending a four-game winning streak. During this stretch, the Buckeyes have surrendered a grand total of only two sets and swept three of the four games 3-0 in dominant fashion.OSU has yet to play an away game against a ranked opponent this season, but back-to-back matchups at No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 2 Minnesota to begin conference play will prove an enormous test for the Buckeyes.The Badgers will close out their weekend in a showdown with the battle-tested Terrapins (8-4) Saturday. Unlike Ohio State, playing top talent on the road will be nothing new for a Maryland team coming off a recent stretch in L.A. where the Terrapins took down a strong Oklahoma team, but were swept by University of Washington and the University of Southern California.Wisconsin has high expectations to come out of the weekend unblemished, but the Badgers can’t overlook two teams hungry to notch their first marquee win of the season. With a lingering ankle injury to junior outside hitter Lauryn Gillis, freshman outside hitter Molly Haggerty has continued to shine in the starting position.Having already earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week this season, Haggerty was most recently named American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week after setting a school-record 27 kills through three sets in the Badgers’ sweep of Texas A&M.The Terrapins and Buckeyes will have to neutralize Haggerty and company if they want to snag their first win over a ranked opponent this season. Both Friday and Saturday’s game will air at 7 p.m. on BTN Plus.last_img read more

Freeman’s legacy endures long after Sydney’s flame went out

first_img Associated Press Television News In a momentary pause between reality sinking in and her victory celebrations fully starting, Cathy Freeman looked toward a track official and twirled her index finger to signal a full circuit.It wasn’t a question of if, but for how long.Within seconds, she had an Australian flag and the Australian Aboriginal flag — black on red in the background, yellow sphere in the center —together in her hand as she started a barefoot, triumphant lap of Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.Six years after an aging team official threatened to send her home from the Commonwealth Games in Canada for running a victory lap with both flags, this was a poignant riposte.This was Freeman’s moment, which nobody could deny.She’d ignited the Olympic flame to open the Sydney 2000 Games and she’d returned 10 nights later to win a gold medal in the 400 meters that had been a long time in the waiting for her country.Freeman was the first Aboriginal person from Australia to win an individual Olympic gold medal. Carrying the Aboriginal flag was her dedication to First Nations people in Australia. And to the Australian nation.“I have tried really hard each day, each year I get older to really respect the way that people relate to that one race in September in 2000. It is so intense and it is so honest,” Freeman said in a reflection for the International Olympic Committee. “The whole story has become larger than who I am.”Two decades later, in the midst of a global Black Lives Matter movement, that victory and celebration remain Freeman’s enduring legacy.The crowd of 112,524, a euphoric mass of humanity, chanted her name. Freeman was given the flags by spectators. She draped them over her shoulders before she found her mother and her brother in the stands and blew kisses to them.John Coates, one of the key organizers of the Sydney Games and now an International Olympic Committee vice president, simultaneously saluted and breathed a sigh of relief. It was at his invitation that Freeman had agreed to light the cauldron, ramping up the pressure on her athletic performance.In the seating reserved for athletes, Australian hurdler Kyle Vander-Kuyp was so proud of his friend and long-time teammate that it almost exorcised his own disappointment at narrowly missing out earlier in the night on qualifying for another Olympic final.He said Freeman, a former housemate and a fellow Indigenous athlete, was instrumental in “setting the scene for Sydney.”“You run as an Australian, but if you’ve got a chance to express how proud of your heritage you are, and your identity … I think that’s what she was doing, saying ‘I’m Aboriginal. I’m Australian, but I’m also Aboriginal and I’m proud of it,'” he said.In the coaching area, Peter Fortune savored a once-in-a-lifetime victory. Her triumph was a first for Indigenous Australians and gave Australia its 100th Olympic gold medal.Since retiring as an athlete, Freeman has established a successful foundation dedicated to the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.She is working on another project now, and wasn’t available to comment.Others closely connected to that night — Coates, Vander-Kuyp and Fortune — were unanimous in interviews with The Associated Press that Freeman’s signature moments defined the Sydney Olympics.“Certainly for me it did,” Coates said.Fortune, despite being Freeman’s coach, wasn’t foretold of her role in the opening ceremony but also didn’t get any sense she was under extra pressure.“There was a lot of hype, a lot of things going on. Given everything, it rates at the top … of Australian Olympic moments,” he said.Coates said Freeman’s celebration with both flags didn’t break any Olympic rules, which prohibit inside-the-lines demonstrations or political, religious or racial propaganda.He’d sought permission in advance from the IOC to have the Aboriginal flag flying as well as the Australian flag at Olympic venues, as it does now on public buildings.“It wasn’t a protest,” Coates said. “It had a lot to do with reconciliation.”Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands people comprise 2% of Australia’s adult population but 27% of the prison population. Since British settlement in 1788, Indigenous people in Australia have become the most disadvantaged ethnic minority and have higher-than-average rates of infant mortality and poorer overall health, as well as shorter life expectancy and lower levels of education and employment than other Australians.After some landmark moments in the reconciliation process in the 1990s in Australia, more than 200,000 people joined a reconciliation march across Sydney Harbour Bridge in May 2000, less than four months before the Olympic opener.Coates had asked Freeman over a dinner that same month if she’d be willing to light the cauldron, telling her “I think this would be important in history. You can play an important role.”Freeman, then a two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist, suggested other candidates to light the flame but ultimately accepted.Coates recalled telling her: “Your primary purpose at this Olympics Games is winning the 400 — You’ve got to be satisfied that this isn’t going to upset your chances there.” She replied, he recounted. ”John, I love pressure. That’s when I perform at my best.”That she did.Aboriginal athletes had overcome discrimination and racism to become stars in rugby league, Aussie rules and boxing, and Evonne Goolagong Cawley is one of the international tennis greats after winning seven Grand Slam singles titles from 1971-80. The Olympics and the timing, though, gave Freeman a truly global forum.“I think it had a lot to do with changing people’s attitudes,” Coates said. “You couldn’t have got a more high-profile platform.”It took another seven years before an Australian prime minister made a formal apology to Aboriginal people for injustices and past government policies. Progress on the “closing the gap” process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has been slow.Vander-Kuyp, a finalist in the 1995 world championships and 1996 Olympics and now a member of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Indigenous advisory group, said the “conversations have gone a bit quiet” but Australians generally are gradually improving their knowledge and awareness of Aboriginal culture.Freeman helped break down some barriers, he said.“You hear of the current day Olympians who mention Cathy’s run, they say, ‘When I was a kid I watched the Sydney Olympics and I watched Cathy,’” Vander-Kuyp said. “If they were at the dinner table and they asked ‘What’s that flag? What’s Cathy got there?’ They’re the conversations that Cathy would have started.”NBA star Patty Mills, who was 12 in September 2000, is among those who were deeply inspired.The San Antonio Spurs guard is raising awareness of causes in his home country of Australia devoted to reducing Aboriginal deaths in custody and tackling racism. He’s has also recently created his Indigenous Basketball Australia to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths.“I remember how she walked on the track and how she locked in at the blocks, how focused she was,” Mills said of Freeman in a recent TV interview. “I remember thinking, ‘I want to be like her. That’s who I want to be like. I want to be like her on the track, I want to be like her off the track.’”Image credits: AP SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Last Updated: 15th August, 2020 09:17 IST Freeman’s Legacy Endures Long After Sydney’s Flame Went Out In a momentary pause between reality sinking in and her victory celebrations fully starting, Cathy Freeman looked toward a track official and twirled her index finger to signal a full circuit Written Bycenter_img FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE First Published: 15th August, 2020 09:16 IST LIVE TVlast_img read more