Opera House sails to light up in virtual tribute to Olympians and Paralympians

Published: 3 Sep 2021


In recognition of the amazing efforts of our Olympians and Paralympians in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera House sails will light up with the faces of each Australian athlete this Sunday, with the projection livestreamed so everyone can pay tribute from home.

“To honour their wonderful achievements, the faces of each of our 486 Olympians and 179 Paralympians will be projected one by one onto the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House over five and a half hours,” Mrs Ward said.                                                                         

“This year’s Olympics and Paralympics gave us all a much-needed lift and so much joy during these difficult times. Every athlete, coach and official should be incredibly proud of their efforts.

“Just as we were all able to watch their fantastic efforts from our living rooms, we can now pay tribute to our Aussie athletes from the safety of our homes.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin encouraged every Australian to watch the livestream from home, and pay tribute to the 665 Australian athletes who showed incredible skills at the global competition in difficult COVID circumstances.

“Not only do we thank each athlete, but we thank Japan for putting on an incredible Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thank you Tokyo, for showing the true Olympic spirit. Australia’s landmark building will shine for all of you,” Mr Harwin said.

Minister for Disability Services Alister Henskens said the illumination of the Opera House, in conjunction with the Paralympics closing ceremony, was a fitting tribute.

“Our brilliant Paralympians have shown us the best of the human spirit, and sent a powerful message of resilience,” Mr Henskens said.

“This is a moment for every Australian to show gratitude and support to all our Olympians and Paralympians.”   

The NSW Government thanks the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia for their ongoing work as the focus now moves to Paris 2024.

NSW residents are reminded not to visit the Opera House, but to pay tribute from home.

To watch the illumination, head to nsw.gov.au/Olympics at 6.30pm this Sunday

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