2000 Summer Olympics
The 2000 Summer Olympic Games known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and known as Sydney 2000 or the Millennium Olympic Games/Games of the New Millennium, were an international multi-sport event, held between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was the second time that the Summer Olympics were held in Australia, the Southern Hemisphere, the first being in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1956. Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 Games in 1993. Teams from 199 countries participated; the Games’ cost was estimated to be A$6.6 billion. The Games received universal acclaim, with the organisation, volunteers and Australian public being lauded in the international media. Bill Bryson from The Times called the Sydney Games "one of the most successful events on the world stage", saying that they "couldn't be better". James Mossop of the Electronic Telegraph called the Games "such a success that any city considering bidding for future Olympics must be wondering how it can reach the standards set by Sydney", while Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette suggested that the "IOC should quit while it's ahead.
Admit there can never be a better Olympic Games, be done with it," as "Sydney was both exceptional and the best". In preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Lord Coe declared the Sydney Games the "benchmark for the spirit of the Games, unquestionably" and admitting that the London organising committee "attempted in a number of ways to emulate what the Sydney Organising Committee did." These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch. These were the second Olympic Games to be held in spring and is to date the most recent games not to be held in its more traditional July or August summer slot; the final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by Russia and China with host Australia at fourth place overall. Several World and Olympic records were broken during the games. With little or no controversies, the games were deemed successful with the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world. Sydney won the right to host the Games on 24 September 1993, after being selected over Beijing, Berlin and Manchester in four rounds of voting, at the 101st IOC Session in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The Australian city of Melbourne had lost out to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics four years earlier. Beijing lost its bid to host the games to Sydney in 1993, but was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics in July 2001 after Sydney hosted the previous year, it would be awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics twenty-two years in 2015. Although it is impossible to know why members of the International Olympic Committee voted for Sydney over Beijing in 1993, it appears that an important role was played by Human Rights Watch's campaign to "stop Beijing" because of China's human rights record. Many in China were angry at what they saw as U. S.-led interference in the vote, the outcome contributed to rising anti-Western sentiment in China and tensions in Sino-American relations. The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics at USD 5 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 90% in real terms; this includes sports-related costs only, that is, operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g. expenditures for technology, workforce, security, catering and medical services, direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g. the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, media and press center, which are required to host the Games.
Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost for Sydney 2000 compares with a cost of USD 4.6 billion for Rio 2016, USD 40–44 billion for Beijing 2008 and USD 51 billion for Sochi 2014, the most expensive Olympics in history. Average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is USD 5.2 billion, average cost overrun is 176%. In 2000, the Auditor-General of New South Wales reported that the Sydney Games cost A$6.6 billion, with a net cost to the public between A$1.7 and A$2.4 billion. Many venues were constructed in the Sydney Olympic Park, which failed in the years following the Olympics to meet the expected bookings to meet upkeep expenses. In the years leading up to the games, funds were shifted from education and health programs to cover Olympic expenses, it has been estimated that the economic impact of the 2000 Olympics was that A$2.1 billion has been shaved from public consumption.
Economic growth was not stimulated to a net benefit and in the years after 2000, foreign tourism to NSW grew by less than tourism to Australia as a whole. A "multiplier" effect on broader economic development is not realised, as a simple "multiplier" analysis fails to capture is that resources have to be redirected from elsewhere: the building of a stadium is at the expense of other public works such as extensions to hospitals. Building sporting venues does not add to the aggregate stock of productive capital in the years following the Games: "Equestrian centres, softball compounds and man-made rapids are not useful beyond their immediate function." In the years after the games, infrastructure issues have been of growing concern to citizens those in the western suburbs of Sydney. Proposed rail links to Sydney's west have been estimated to cost in the same order of magnitude as the public expenditure on the games. Although the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was not sc
Djibouti at the 2000 Summer Olympics
Djibouti took part in the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were held in Sydney, Australia from 15 September to 1 October. The country's participation at Sydney marked its fifth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its debut at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, United States; the delegation included field athletes. Gadid failed to finish the marathon. Djibouti participated in four Summer Olympics between its debut at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, United States, the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Djibouti made their Olympic debut in 1984. Djibouti's one and only medal prior to these games was a bronze awarded to Hussein Ahmed Salah in the men's marathon at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea; the highest number of Djibouti competing at a Games was eight at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The Djibouti team for the 2000 Summer Olympics featured Omar Daher Gadid in the men's marathon, who had competed in the 10,000 metres at the 1992 Games; the sole female Djibouti athlete at the 2000 Games was Roda Ali Wais.
She set a new record for her nation upon competing, being the youngest athlete to represent Djibouti, at the age of 16 years and 162 days. Wais was the first female to represent Djibouti in the Olympic games, she competed in the second heat of the women's 800 metres on 22 September. Wais finished last with a time of two minutes and 31.74 seconds. This was over 24 seconds adrift of Romania's Elena Iagăr. Only the top two athletes from the heat qualified, Wais' competition ended with that heat. Omar Daher Gadid was the only male athlete competing for Djibouti at the 2000 Summer Olympics, competed in the men's marathon on 1 October. In a field of 100 runners, 19 did not complete the race including Gadid; the medals were shared between athletes from African nations with the gold and bronze going to Ethiopia's Gezahgne Abera and Tesfaye Tola and the silver won by Eric Wainaina from Kenya. KeyNote–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only N/A = Round not applicable for the event
Malta known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, 333 km north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2, Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country, its capital is Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union. Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC, its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Greeks, Normans, Knights of St. John and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet.
It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege, the George Cross appears on Malta's national flag. The British Parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen; the country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, joined the European Union in 2004. Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese is claimed to be an apostolic see because Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on "Melita", according to Acts of the Apostles, now taken to be Malta. While Catholicism is the official religion in Malta, Article 40 of the Constitution states that "all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship."Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The origin of the name Malta is uncertain, the modern-day variation is derived from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey"; the ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet" for Malta's unique production of honey. The Romans called the island Melita, which can be considered either a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα; this spelling is found in the New Testament. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven", or'port' in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. Malta has been inhabited from around 5900 BC, since the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. A significant prehistoric Neolithic culture marked by Megalithic structures, which date back to c. 3600 BC, existed on the islands, as evidenced by the temples of Mnajdra and others.
The Phoenicians colonised Malta between 800 -- 700 BC, bringing their Semitic culture. They used the islands as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean until their successors, the Carthaginians, were ousted by the Romans in 216 BC with the help of the Maltese inhabitants, under whom Malta became a municipium. After a period of Byzantine rule and a probable sack by the Vandals, the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870; the fate of the population after the Arab invasion is unclear but it seems the islands may have been depopulated and were to have been repopulated in the beginning of the second millennium by settlers from Arab-ruled Sicily who spoke Siculo-Arabic. The Muslim rule was ended by the Normans who conquered the island in 1091; the islands were re-Christianised by 1249. The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, were controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou. In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.
The French under Napoleon took hold of the Maltese islands in 1798, although with the aid of the British the Maltese were able to oust French control two years later. The inhabitants subsequently asked Britain to assume sovereignty over the islands under the conditions laid out in a Declaration of Rights, stating that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, without control." As part of the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British colony rejecting an attempted integration with the United Kingdom in 1956. Malta became independent on 21 September 1964. Under its 1964 constitution
Sailing at the 2000 Summer Olympics
Sailing at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney was held from 17–30 September 2000 at the Olympic Sailing Shore Base in the Sydney Harbour. The quota for sailing at the 2000 Summer Olympics was 400, of which 124 positions were for men, 92 for women and 184'open' to men or women; the Sailing Program of 2000 consisted of a total of eleven sailing classes. For each class with the exception of the Soling and the 49er, eleven races were scheduled from 17–30 September 2000. For the Soling six fleet races were scheduled followed by a series of match races for the top twelve boats of the fleet race result; the 49er had sixteen scheduled fleet races. The sailing was done on several types of course configurations; the Sydney 2000 Games featured a name change for the sport known as yachting. The choice of Sydney Harbour as the sailing venue allowed a huge number of spectators access to the action. However, there was not a great level of interest for this and only 2000 tickets had been sold one month before the start of the event.
The Olympic Sailing Shore Base was located on parts of Rushcutters Bay Park, Yarranabbe Park, the Sir David Martin Reserve and the waters of Rushcutters Bay. The shore base was used for logistic support and competition management and included temporary structures for the sailing events such as a marina for 250 boats. A new permanent public jetty for water taxis was constructed. Variable weather patterns necessitated a flexible competition schedule. Four course areas inside Sydney Harbour were used in combination with two offshore course areas; the Soling match racing was staged in Farm Cove at the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games; the Official Report of the Centennial Olympic Games, Volume I Planning and Organization. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers. Retrieved 2011-09-14; the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. The Official Report of the Centennial Olympic Games, Volume II The Centennial Olympic Games. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. The Official Report of the Centennial Olympic Games, Volume III The Competition Results. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers. Retrieved 2011-09-14. Hugh Drake & Paul Henderson. Canada's Olympic Sailing Legacy, Paris 1924 - Beijing 2008. Toronto: CYA. Kubatko, Justin. "Sailing at the 2000 Atlanta Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2011-09-17. "IYRU Olympic Update". ISAF. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2011
Malta at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Malta competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China from 8 to 24 August 2008. The country's participation at Beijing marked its fourteenth appearance at a Summer Olympics since its début at the 1928 Summer Olympics; the delegation sent by the Malta Olympic Committee consisted of six athletes: sprinters Nikolai Portelli and Charlene Attard, light-middleweight judoka Marcon Bezzina, double trap shooter William Chetcuti and short-distance swimmers Ryan Gambin and Madeleine Scerri. Five of the six athletes qualified for the Games by using wildcards while Gambin was the only person to attain qualification for his sport by setting a time that met the necessary requirements at the 2008 European Aquatics Championships. All six competitors failed to progress any farther than the first round of their respective events though Chetcuti pushed his qualification stage into a four-man shoot-out which he lost. Malta participated in fourteen Olympic Games between its début at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with the exception of the 1932, 1952, 1956, 1964 and 1976 Games.
The highest number of athletes sent by Malta to a summer games is eleven to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. No Maltese athlete has medalled at the Olympic Games. Malta took part in the Beijing Summer Olympics from 8 to 24 August 2008; the six athletes selected to represent Malta in Beijing were sprinters Nikolai Portelli and Charlene Attard, light-middleweight judoka Marcon Bezzina, double trap shooter William Chetcuti and short-distance swimmers Ryan Gambin and Madeleine Scerri. Bezzina was chosen as the flag bearer for the opening ceremony, while Gambin carried the flag of Malta at the closing ceremony; the team was publicly revealed by The Malta Independent on 6 July, confirmed by the Malta Olympic Committee two days later. The Malta Olympic Committee factored in preparation and their rivals' competitiveness during the selection process. Along with the six athletes, the nation's Olympic team was led by Lino Farrugia Sacco, the committee's president, secretary general Joe Cassar, it consisted of chef de mission and vice-president of the committee Julian Pace Bonello.
He was assisted by Marie Therese Zammit. They were accompanied by the committee's director of finance David Azzopardi; the athletes were coached by Leandros Calleja, Gail Rizzo, Jurgen Klinger and Jimmy Bugeja with Lucianne Attard from the committee's medical commission appointed as the team's doctor. Nikolai Portelli was the oldest athlete to represent Malta at the Beijing Olympics at the age of 26, he had not participated in any previous Olympic Games. He qualified for the Olympics by using a wildcard because his personal best time of 22.11 seconds was 1.36 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for the men's 200 metres. Before the games Portelli said that attending the Olympic Games was a personal dream for himself and revealed that he would make the most from the opportunity and aimed to perform to the best of his ability, he was drawn in the fourth heat on 17 August, finishing eighth out of all athletes, with a time of 22.31 seconds. Portelli finished 60th out of 62 runners overall.
He did not progress to the second round because his time was 1.44 seconds slower than the slowest athlete who made the stages. Competing in her first Summer Olympics at the age of 21, Charlene Attard was Malta's sole female representative in athletics, she qualified for the Games via a wildcard because her quickest time of 11.93 seconds was 0.51 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for the women's 100 metres. In an interview with the Times of Malta before the Olympics, Attard said she was looking forward to débuting at the Games, she revealed her preparations went untroubled and set herself the target of improving the national 100 metres record time. Attard participated in the tenth heat on 16 August, finishing sixth out of nine competitors, with a time of 12.20 seconds. Overall she placed 57th out of 85 participants and failed to advance beyond the first round after being 0.79 seconds behind the slowest runner in her heat who made the next stage. KeyNote–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only NR = National record MenWomen The 2008 Summer Olympics marked 22 year old Marcon Bezzina's second appearance at the Olympic Games after she represented Malta at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
She received an invitation from the International Judo Federation to compete in the women's light middleweight tournament.. Bezzina prepared for the Beijing Games by competing in multiple international tournaments and attending several training camps, she was drawn to compete against Algeria's Kahina Saidi at the Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium on 12 August. Bezzina lost, she was not permitted to enter the repechage bracket because Saidi lost her next two bouts and this rendered these additional matches unnecessary to stage. Women 23 year old William Chetcuti made his second appearance at a Summer Olympics having competed for Malta at the 2004 Athens Games, he qualified for the men's double trap shooting contest after receiving a wild card from the Tripartite Commission. Entering the Olympics Chetcuti spoke of his dream of winning a gold medal and noted the strong competition he would face, "I have competed with these guys many times at similar high-level competitions, so I know I stand a good chance.
The key ingredients to success are a lot of practice, a natural ability and good hand-eye coordination. Shooting is all about being quick and alert." On 12 August he competed in the qualification round of his event. Chetcuti finished eighth out of nineteen shooters with a score of 136 points, he subsequently entered into a fou
Malta at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Malta competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, held from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation at London marked its fifteenth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its début at the 1928 Summer Olympics; the delegation included two track and field athletes, Rachid Chouhal and Diane Borg, one double trap shooter William Chetcuti and two swimmers Andrew Chetcuti and Nicola Muscat. All five competitors qualified for the Games through wildcard places. William Chetcuti was selected as the flag bearer for the opening ceremony while Borg held it at the closing ceremony. Choudai did not progress beyond the preliminary stages of the men's 100 metres, while Borg advanced to the first round of the women's 100 metres before being eliminated. William Chetcuti finished ninth in the double trap shooting event, while Andrew Chetcuti and Muscat were unable to progress to the first rounds of their respective swimming disciplines. Malta participated in fifteen Olympic Games between its début at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, with the exception of 1932, 1952, 1956, 1964 and 1976.
The highest number of athletes sent by Malta to an summer Games is eleven to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. No Maltese athlete has won a medal at the Olympic Games. Malta participated in the Summer Olympics from 27 July to 12 August 2012; the Maltese National Olympic Committee selected two field athletes via wildcards. An NOC would be able to enter up to three qualified athletes in each individual event as long as each athlete met the "A" standard, or one athlete per event if they met the "B" standard. However, since Malta had no athletes that met either standard, they were allowed to select two athletes, one of each gender, as wildcards; the five athletes that were selected to compete at the London Games were Rachid Chouhal in the men's 100 metres, Diane Borg in the women's 100 metres, William Chetcuti in the men's double trap shooting, Andrew Chetcuti in the men's 100 metre freestyle and Nicola Muscat in the women's 50 metre freestyle. As in the 2004 Summer Olympics, Chetcuti was the flag bearer for the opening ceremony while Borg held it for the closing ceremony.
Along with the five athletes, the Malta Olympic team consisted of chef de mission and the country's NOC vice-president Julian Pace Bonello, director of sport Mark Cutajar who served as his assistant, secretary general Joe Cassar and director of finance David Azzopardi. The athletes were coached by Jimmy Bugeja, Andy Colbourn and Mario Bonello, with Lucienne Attard, Adele Muscat and Milos Stanisavljevic from the Maltese NOC's medical commission attending the Games. Rachid Chouhal was the oldest athlete to represent Malta at the London Games at the age of 37, he had not participated in any previous Olympic Games. Chouhal qualified for the Games via a wildcard because his fastest time of 10.83 seconds, set at the Marsa Sports Complex on 2 June 2012, was 0.59 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for his event, the 100 metres. Before the Games Choudal said "When I want something, I go for it. I am not afraid. I am careful not to get hurt. I know that the level of the athletes competing in the 100 metre sprint is high.
My aim is to do a personal best or season's best." He was drawn in the fourth heat of the preliminary round on 4 August, finishing fourth out of eight runners, with a time of 10.83 seconds. Chouhal ranked ahead of Tilak Ram Tharu of Nepal and Masoud Azizi from Afghanistan but behind the Saint Vincent and the Grenandines' Courtney Williams in a heat led by Gérard Kobéané of Burkina Faso. Overall Chouhal finished 58th out of 75 athletes, but did not progress to the first round because he was 0.21 seconds slower than the slowest competitor in his meat who advanced to the stages. Competing at her first Olympic Games at the age of 21, Diane Borg was notable for carrying the flag of Malta at the closing ceremony, she qualified for the London Games as a wildcard entrant, because her fastest time of 11.89 seconds, set at the 2011 Games of the Small States of Europe, was 0.51 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for the women's 100 metres. She stated that it was "a great feeling" that she would be representing Malta and every person hoping that she would perform well.
Borg took part in the event's second heat on 3 August, finishing third out of eight entrants, with a time of 12 seconds. Her finishing position allowed her to advance to the first round as the slowest qualifier. Borg was drawn in the second heat of the first round, held on the same day, finishing eighth of all competitors, with a time of 11.92 seconds. She finished behind Marta Jeschke from Poland and Yuliya Balykina of Bulgaria in a heat led by eventual silver medallist Carmelita Jeter of the United States, she finished 53rd out of 78 runners overall, was unable to advance to the semi-finals because her time was 0.58 seconds slower than the slowest athlete who progressed to the next stage. KeyNote–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target MenWomen William Checuti was the only member of the Maltese team at the London Olympics to have participated in three previous Olympic Games and was his country's sole representative in the men's double trap shooting competition.
He qualified for the event after receiving a wildcard from the Tripartite Commission because of his performance at the 2011 ISSF Shotgun World Cup where he achieved a gold medal. William Chetcuti said that his objective was "to do his best" and in the event he performed well
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear