Last Updated: June 20, 2012 1:29pm
Women competed in weightlifting and modern pentathlon for the first time.
Vietnam won its first medal and Colombia grabbed a first ever gold.
Four athletes from East Timour competed as individuals under the Olympic flag.
Blood tests capable of detecting EPO were used for the first time.
Formula One returns to America after a nine-year gap with the US GP staged at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Tiger Woods has his most successful year is majors by winning three of the four on offer - including a record 15-shot win at the US Open.
The last versions of the Mini are rolled off the production lines.
Ken Livingstone is voted in as the first ever elected Mayor of London.
The controversial Millennium Dome is opened in Greenwich.
Australian's love their sport, and this love came shining through in Sydney as they hosted one of the most popular and well-regarded Games ever witnessed.
All the iconic landmarks from Sydney were used to great effect at the Games, with the Harbour Bridge lit up fantastically with firework displays while the Opera House was a back drop for the triathlon and Bondi Beach staged beach volleyball.
From the very start the Australian's put on a fantastic show, including at the opening ceremony when 400m runner Cathy Freeman, and Aboriginal Australian, was given the honour of emotionally lighting the Olympic flame.
Freeman then emerged ten days later in a bizarre hooded running outfit but again raised the roof as she came home in front to win a home gold on the track in front of a jubilant home crowd.
The Australians used part of their own currency for the Games, with one and two cent coins being removed from circulation from 1992 and being melted down to form the bronze medals handed out at the Games.
Veteran Birgit Fischer chalked up a notable achievement as she earned two gold medals in kayak to become the first woman in any sport to win medals 20 years apart.
American sprint sensation Marion Jones was the dominant force on the track as she became the first woman to win five medals in athletics at the same Olympics with successes in the 100m, 200m, 4x400m relay and bronze in the long jump and the 4x100m relay.
We would only later, of course, discover that Jones' efforts had been tainted by taking performance-enhancing drugs, and she later agreed to forfeit all her Olympic medals from Sydney and was jailed for six months for lying in court during the drugs trail.
Happier times back in the Games saw Steve Redgrave etch his name into Olympic history by winning towing gold at a fifth consecutive Games, while Matthew Pinsent himself made it three in the same men's four boat.
Denise Lewis (heptathlon) and Jonathan Edwards (triple jump) had success in track and field while cyclist Jason Queally (1km time trial), Richard Faulds (double trap shooting), Shirley Robertson, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy (all sailing), boxer Audley Harrison and Stephanie Cook (modern pentathlon) also all claimed gold.
Aussie swimmer Ian Thorpe was a star in the pool at just 17 years old, while Michael Johnson became the only mane to successfully defend his 400m title but was denied the chance to defend his 200m gold after injury ruled him out of the US trials.
on the gold medal in the 400m freestyle by breaking his own world record, and picked up further golds in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay and a silver in the 200m freestyle.Olympic Stars:
Sir Steve Redgrave ensured he is right up there Olympic greats after his emotional performance in Syndey, as he became the only rower ever to win gold medals in five consecutive Games and just one of four Olympians overall to achieve such a feat.
Winning his first gold way back in 1984 in Los Angeles, Redgrave changed his mind about retirement after Atlanta to come back in Sydney and claim an emotional gold at the grand old age of 38 to seal his place in history.
Just 17-years-old, Ian Thorpe thrilled the home crowds by winning three golds and two silver medals in the pool - and helping set three new world records in the process.
He first set a new world record when winning the 400m freestyle final before anchoring the 4 x 100m and 4x200m freestyle relay teams to dramatic victories over the Americans in new record times.
Triple jumper Jonathan Edwards bounded into Olympic greatness by finally grabbing the gold his talents deserved as he showed his dominance of the event en route to holding all four major medals at the same time.
Edwards became world champion and became the first man to jump beyond 18m before suffering heartbreak in 1996 when he had the biggest jump ever to fail to win gold at 17.88m when collecting silver in Atlanta, but redemption came in Sydney and was fully deserved for Great Britain's most successful medal-winning athlete.
Cathy Freeman's performance was as much about cultural history, as the Aboriginal Australian became a huge part of the Games and the nation was willing her on to claim 400m gold.
A silver four years earlier and the weight of expectation heaped huge pressure on Freeman but, decked out in her bizarre hooded running outfit, she delivered the gold the Aussies craved and became a real icon of the Games.
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
A week into the Games of the XXX Olympiad, Richard Moore brings us his half-way highs and lows
Linford Christie sprinted to 100m gold for Britain at an Olympic Games best remembered for America's basketball dream team.