While she swam at the world championships in 2004 and won 14 gold medals, Paton was unable to compete in Athens or Beijing.
She said it hit her “very, very hard.”
She spent six weeks in hospital receiving treatment for her mental health and lives with depression to this day.
“I have good days, I have bad days, I have bad weeks,” she said. “I can have bad months, something will just trigger and whatnot, but I cope with it. I live with it.”
Victorian sprinter Tim Matthews was part of a relay team that won two gold and broke various records at the Sydney games.
It was his second Paralympics after competing in Atlanta four years earlier.
He said there was no doubt the Sydney event was a watershed moment for the disability movement around the world.
“I think people with a disability now have a voice and a lot more exposure,” he said.
Like Sauvage, Matthews is now giving back. He’s currently coaching star long jumper and sprinter Kelly Cartwright — who won gold and silver at the London Games — to qualify for Tokyo.
Matthews has also been working as a talent spotter and trainer with Paralympics Australia.
“They realise they’re eligible for Paralympic sport and then [we] work out which sport might be best suited to them depending on their impairment and their classification,” he said.
“Then to see some of those athletes grow and develop and go on to be Paralympic gold medallists is awesome.”
Danni Di Toro
When wheelchair athlete Danni Di Toro pushes into the stadium with the Australian team for the opening ceremony at Tokyo next year, it will be her seventh Paralympics.
At the Sydney 2000 games, she competed in wheelchair tennis and won a silver medal in the doubles.
“Looking back 20 years is like, I feel kind of old,” she laughed. “But it’s so strange, I feel like that was a moment ago.
“The whole country came together to celebrate everyone, celebrate diversity.”
Di Toro has since switched sports and is now a para-table tennis athlete.
She became a paraplegic after a wall collapsed on her at a school swimming carnival.
For Di Toro, who has been competing for more than 30 years, the Sydney games elevated Paralympic sport to a whole new level.
“You’d enter a stadium, [with] 10,000 people for every match,” she said.
“You know, usually your mum and your dad and your dog comes to watch but for the first time ever, there was actually people watching and staying because what they were seeing was extraordinary talent on display.”
Living in Melbourne, Di Toro’s training for Tokyo has been “pretty crazy” due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
Like many athletes, her coach has been joining her over Zoom and she’s set-up a ball machine in her backyard.
Di Toro has her “fingers crossed” that her seventh Paralympics will go ahead.
“It’s going to be a very different games experience, ” she said. ” But if we can get there, it’s going to be an incredible celebration of so many things.”
The Penrith Panthers are into the NRL grand final against Melbourne after a scrappy 20-16 win over South Sydney.
The minor premiers reached their first decider in 17 years with the 17th win of their record streak, which broke the record of the last Penrith team to play in the last game of the year, in 2003.
Next Sunday they’ll face a seasoned grand finalist in Melbourne, after their 30-10 win over Canberra on Friday night.
On Saturday, the sixth-placed Rabbitohs were punching well above their weight as they looked to ride their hot late-season form into a surprise grand final appearance.
A whopping 13 points separated them on the ladder this year, but the grand final qualifier was a completely different matter.
In what proved to be a harbinger of things to come, the Rabbitohs opened the scoring off a Penrith error, when Corey Allan picked the pocket of opposing fullback Dylan Edwards.
Cody Walker was dragged down a metre from the tryline by Brian To’o, but that left the Panthers’ left wing exposed, and Adam Reynolds landed a pin-point kick into the arms of Alex Johnston on the next play.
But a bad drop by Johnston at the other end handed Penrith the equaliser a few minutes later, and Nathan Cleary’s boot handed the minor premiers the lead when he landed a kick in no man’s land for Tyrone May to touch down in the 27th minute.
A penalty goal gave the Panthers a 14-6 lead at half-time but with 30 tackle busts and seven line breaks it would have been more if not for eight costly errors.
The Rabbitohs got back into the fight when Cameron Murray and Walker sparked a short-side raid and Dane Gagai finished it off in the 49th minute.
South Sydney stayed in touch thanks to exceptional defence and more Penrith errors, including one on the tryline after a try-saving tackle by Johnston on Stephen Crichton, who dropped the ball while trying to capitalise on yet another line break.
But four minutes later, workhorse Isaah Yeo broke through the middle and found Edwards back inside for a try under the posts in the 67th minute for what appeared to be the game-sealer.
The Rabbitohs had other ideas, though, and Allan produced a moment of magic off a wayward pass that flew at his feet, but he trapped and soccered ahead to score in the 72nd minute. Epitomising the effort of the sixth-placed Rabbitohs, he could barely celebrate the pivotal four-pointer because of a severely corked thigh.
Reynolds tried to come up with his own moment of magic two minutes later, dropping back behind the play on the fifth tackle and kicking what he thought was a game-changing 40/20 off one step, but his left foot was planted on the 40m line, meaning it was Panthers ball.
They held on and advanced to the grand final for the first time since the 2003 premiership, where they’ll try to add the Provan-Summons Trophy to the JJ Giltinan Shield.
A march for transgender rights went ahead in Sydney on Saturday despite a court ban on the protest.
LGBTQ activist April Holcombe and her group Community Action for Rainbow Rights called the march in the inner city neighbourhood of Darlinghurst a “victory” despite one arrest made and several fines handed down to attendees.
“It was quite outrageous that we were being suppressed, but people had the guts to show up anyway. It’s about making people understand how vulnerable trans people are,” Ms Holcombe said.
The group claimed 500 people joined the march.
A 19-year-old from Bronte was arrested and charged with resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty, assault officer in the execution of duty and not comply with noticed directions, police said.
The teen was granted conditional bail and is due to appear in court next month.
Officers also handed out 11 fines for alleged breaches of COVID-19 health orders, and one move-on direction.
Ms Holcombe said that argument rang hollow to her, and pointed to a separate decision Friday to create a special exemption under a health order for 11,000 people to be able to attend the Everest race.
“I think it’s clear the court decision had nothing to do with concerns for public health, and I think people can see that,” she said.
The march was called to protest a proposed bill by One Nation’s Mark Latham that would prevent teaching or discussion about transgender people in government schools by banning any mention of “gender fluidity”.
The term is defined by Mr Latham as the belief there is a difference between sex and gender.
The Brisbane Broncos will look to claim a historic three-peat when they face the Sydney Roosters in the NRLW grand final, despite one round of the round-robin competition left to play next week.
The Broncos stayed unbeaten with an 18-4 victory over the Dragons
The Roosters beat the Warriors 22-12 in Saturday’s earlier NRLW match
The Broncos have won the two NRLW premierships contested in 2018 and 2019
After the Roosters made it back-to-back victories to open the season with a 22-12 defeat of the Warriors on Saturday, the Broncos also stayed undefeated with a dramatic 18-4 win over St George Illawarra at the Western Sydney Stadium.
The round-two results mean both teams — who will clash in a dead-rubber match at Sydney’s Olympic stadium next week — will meet each other again in the grand final on October 25.
But the Broncos’ win was soured by captain Ali Brigginshaw being put on report for attacking the legs of Dragons halfback Maddie Studdon while in mid-air in the second half.
The Dragons also lost star second rower Kezie Apps (knee) and reigning Dally M medallist Isabelle Kelly (ankle) to suspected serious injuries.
Broncos centre Jayme Fressard also failed to finish the match due to an ankle issue, forcing the Broncos to play the final seven minutes of the match with 12 players.
But winger Lauren Brown sealed their place in the grand final with a try from close range in the 57th minute.
St George Illawarra will face the Warriors next week in a battle of the wooden spoon.
Earlier, the Roosters worked their way to a two-try lead over the Warriors at half-time on Saturday before continuing their dominance in the second term.
Halfback Zahara Tamara was arguably best on ground, highlighted by her entry for try-of-the-season when she beat four defenders on her way to a 50-metre individual effort in the second half.
Warriors pair Kirra Dibb and Evania Pelite, who raced 70 metres around high-profile signing Charlotte Caslick for a solo try, added some respectability to the scoreline, but by then the damage was done.
There was plenty of anticipation around Caslick switching to fullback for the Roosters, but the 2016 Olympic gold medallist was outshone by her in-form teammates in the frontline.
Lock Hannah Southwell was again a menace in defence, while second rower Kennedy Cherrington and hooker Quincy Dodd also were a handful when injected off the bench into the contest.
Caslick came from the field midway through the second period, minutes after she was hit awkwardly in a tackle by Warriors five-eighth Dib while bravely fielding a kick close to her line.
But she allayed any health concerns by returning for the final three minutes of the match and finished with 92 metres, four tackle busts and two offloads in another strong showing.
The Canberra Raiders are one win away from a second-straight grand final after they exacted revenge on the Sydney Roosters by denying the defending two-time premiers a shot at an NRL three-peat.
Canberra’s win ends the Roosters’ hopes of adding another premiership to their wins in 2018 and 2019
The Roosters trailed 16-0 in the first half but twice cut the Raiders’ lead back to four points in the second term
The Raiders will meet the Melbourne Storm in the preliminary finals
The Raiders shot out of the blocks to lead 16-0 after 23 minutes before holding out the fast-finishing Roosters to win 22-18 at the SCG.
The result sets up a preliminary final date with the Melbourne Storm next Friday in Brisbane, with the winner to advance to the season decider on October 25.
Josh Papalii was again immense for the Raiders, as the visitors won the battle of the middle.
Fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was also superb, with two crucial try-saving tackles on Brett and Josh Morris to halt the Roosters’ charge.
His tackle on Josh Morris in the second half was one of the most important moments of the match. He sprinted across the field to put the Roosters centre into touch when the Raiders were clinging to a 16-12 lead.
Moments later the Raiders had their lead back out to 10 points, as James Tedesco lost his feet trying to field a George Williams kick and Jack Wighton scored.
But even then the Roosters would not let up in front of 18,110 spectators.
They again cut back the Raiders’ advantage to four points with five minutes to play when Sonny Bill Williams and Sitili Tupouniua combined to put Tedesco over.
And they looked as if they had the Raiders in all sorts of trouble in the dying minutes, only for Tedesco to drop a ball 30 metres out with Canberra short on numbers.
Papalii had earlier started the run for the Raiders when he crashed over for the first try of the match from close range, making the most of a piggyback penalty.
The Raiders forward was also instrumental in their next try.
He began a centre-field movement with an offload for John Bateman, before Jordan Rapana put Williams over.
And the match looked all but over when Joseph Tapine pushed his way through five defenders from close to the line to make it 16-0.
But it was then that the Roosters’ comeback started.
Tedesco scored his first try of the evening in the 35th minute and with Kyle Flanagan’s conversion, the Roosters only trailed 16-6 at half-time.
Joey Manu provided plenty of spark, denied once after half-time for a double movement before convincing the bunker moments later to record the Roosters’ second try.
Looming as a threat all night, he picked up a loose ball from 25 metres out and found the line, despite a desperate last effort from Raiders veteran Jarrod Croker.
The loss not only ended the Roosters’ hopes of three straight premiership wins, but it also brought down the curtain on Mitchell Aubusson’s 306-match career with the club.