The top 10 sporting moments in Aussie history

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May the green and gold shine long! The top 10 sporting moments in Aussie history

Whether you beat England 5-0 in the Ashes or fight like the Socceroos did at the 2006 World Cup, Australia is without a doubt a great sports nation.

And with the Commonwealth Games soon set to provide yet another stage where the green and gold will shine, there’s no better time to look back at some of the country’s most memorable and inspiring sports moments.

From classic cricket to the Tour de France and even an unexpected win at the Winter Olympics, these are our top sport moments …

Legendary: John Aloisi celebrates victory over Japan in the 2006 World Cup group stage … an iconic moment for Socceroo

Killing the Samurai

John Aloisi’s 2005 penalty kick against Uruguay was the iconic image of the Socceroos’ playoff win to qualify for their first World Cup final since 1974. But the 2006 group stage win over Japan was just as memorable. At 0-1, attackers Tim Cahill, Josh Kennedy and Aloisi were passed. Two goals from Cahill and a late one from Aloisi made history.

Unexpected hero

Speed ​​skater Steven Bradbury has toiled his whole life to get to the Winter Olympics finals, but he is more known for his opponents’ misfortune in Salt Lake City 2002. He rode to Australia’s first individual Winter Olympics gold when the other four finalists fell in the last corner.

Glide to the Finish: Steve Bradbury celebrates his unexpected victory in the 2002 Winter Olympics final

Glide to the Finish: Steve Bradbury celebrates his unexpected victory in the 2002 Winter Olympics final

Everyone is Cathy

When Cathy Freeman felt the weight of a country’s expectations on her shoulders in Sydney 2000 after lighting the flame of the Olympic opening ceremony, the costume-fitting hero failed to show it as she kicked away at the final corner of the 400 meters. Her relief as she paraded the Aboriginal and Australian flags, however, was clear, and just as special as the race itself.

Nation's Sweetheart: Cathy Freeman made Australia proud with her multiple gold medals at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games

Nation’s Sweetheart: Cathy Freeman made Australia proud with her multiple gold medals at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games

The Thorpedo

Ian Thorpe’s massive dive into the Sydney 2000 4x100m freestyle relay – which the US had not lost since its introduction in 1964 – was special. Klim took the lead, Fydler and Kallus held onto it… and then Thorpe. Fresh off 400m of gold, he gave rival Gary Hall Jr a masterclass, giving up half a height before swamping it when it mattered to the gold.

Moment of triumph: Ian Thorpe cheers after winning the men's 200m freestyle final at the 2004 Olympics at the Olympic Aquatic Center in Athens

Moment of triumph: Ian Thorpe cheers after winning the men’s 200m freestyle final at the 2004 Olympics at the Olympic Aquatic Center in Athens

Going for Gold: Ian Thorpe's stellar career has included some spectacular Olympic victories

Going for Gold: Ian Thorpe’s stellar career has included some spectacular Olympic victories

David beats Goliath

Australia II’s victory in the America’s Cup in 1983 captured the country’s imagination.

David defeated Goliath – the USA – and ended their 132 years of rule.

The scenes at Constitution Dock were inspiring as the ship docked with John Bertrand’s skipper.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke famously stated, “Any boss who fires someone for not showing up today is a bum.”

Setting a new standard

Pat Cash was more than an underdog to beat the world’s No. 1 Ivan Lendl in the 1987 Wimbledon final.

The Melbourne serving volleyball player was expected to fold, but he declined and won in straight sets.

With his iconic plaid headband, Cash also became the first champion winner to climb the All England Club stands.

Tennis Champion: Pat Cash started the trend of climbing to the box after winning Wimbledon in 1987

Tennis Champion: Pat Cash started the trend of climbing to the box after winning Wimbledon in 1987

Ball of the century

Shane Warne took 708 wickets in 145 Career Tests, but his first delivery in Ashes cricket at Old Trafford in 1993 has to be the most memorable. Mike Gatting had no idea when Warne threw his “looser” outer leg stump, spun it like a demon, and cut the top of the stump. Gatting was baffled. Fans still marvel.

Cricket Legend: Shane Warne's first episode in 1993's Ashes was arguably his most memorable

Cricket Legend: Shane Warne’s first episode in 1993’s Ashes was arguably his most memorable

The Don dominates

The greatest achievement of cricket’s best batsman cannot escape mention. Sir Donald Bradman’s 334 that didn’t come out in Headingley in 1930 was furious. He tore apart the attack in England that won the previous Ashes series 4-1, scoring 309 runs on the opening day – even with modern advancements, no one has matched that feat.

Greatest batsman of all time: Sir Donald Bradman tore the England team apart in the Ashes of 1930

Greatest batsman of all time: Sir Donald Bradman tore the England team apart in the Ashes of 1930

Above the pack

Alex Jesaulenko’s 1970 ‘sign of the century’ was topped off by Leo Barry’s intrepid hold in the 2005 AFL Grand Final, ending Sydney’s 72-year drought. The fullback showed no concern for personal safety, throwing himself into the pack and inventing the pill – a decisive act for the Swans and an exclamation point for a man-of-the-match attempt.

Taking the Yellow Jersey: Cadel Evans dazzled crowds with a word of thanks in both French and English when he won the Tour de France in 2011

Taking the Yellow Jersey: Cadel Evans dazzled crowds with a word of thanks in both French and English when he won the Tour de France in 2011

Long live Australia

Cadel Evans captured the chances of winning the 2011 Tour de France. He reached the pinnacle of his sport through persistent determination and deceit, fighting the elements and politics that make the race such a race. Then he took his crown with class – a speech in French and then in English earned him admiration far beyond his home borders