HCA NEWS Cathy Freeman to be appointed as HCA Ambassador

HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is to appoint Australian national heroine and star athlete Cathy Freeman as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 04 December 2003

The Australian national heroine and star athlete Cathy Freeman is to be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in Copenhagen on 8 December 2003.

The ceremony will take place on Monday 8 December 2003 at 11 a.m. at Copenhagen Town Hall, and the HRH Crown Prince Frederik will preside over the ceremony and coincide with the publicising of the first Hans Christian Andersen 2005 projects to take place in Copenhagen.

National heorine
30-year-old Cathy Freeman - born Cathrine Astrid Salome Freeman - is from Queensland State and considered one of the greatest Australian heroines as well as one of the greatest star athletes of our time. As an outspoken Aborigine with a successful athletic track record, she has become a role model for minorities all around the world.

She experienced her major professional breakthrough in her primary discipline, the 400-metre sprint, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where she won the silver medal. A string of triumphs then secured her 22 gold medals in a row in the 400-metre sprint, including gold at the 1997 World Athletic Games in Athens.

Childhood dream
Still another World Athletics gold was added to her collection when she won the 400-metre sprint in Seville in 1999, but it was at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where Cathy Freeman established herself in earnest as one of the world's greatest and most popular sports icons.

First she carried the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony and then she made a childhood dream come true by winning the 400-metre sprint on home turf in Sydney in front of 110,000 spectators.

Ninth ambassador
Cathy Freeman is ninth in the line of international icons to be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in connection with Hans Christian Andersen 2005 - the worldwide celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen.

Apart from Cathy Freeman, the following people have been appointed as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors:

Rock musician Suzanne Vega, actor Harvey Keitel, actress Susan Sarandon, actor Boyd Gaines and Danish-American actress Connie Nielsen as well as jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, the Danish ballet dancer and Artistic Director of the New York City Ballet, Peter Martins, and the soccer legend Pelé.