The venue, founded in the 1860's, comes to an end with last week's conclusion of the Australian Track and Field Championships. It will be demolished to make way for Collingwood F.C.'s expanding facilities. The new Collingwood training area will see the move of Athletics Australia, Athletics Victoria and the Victorian Institute of Sport to Albert Park. This move has raised debate about the power of money and profile in the Australian sporting environment.
History was made at Olympic Park. In the lead-up to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics it was transformed into an athletics venue. Australian running champion, Ron Clarke, set 17 world records there. As a result, the venue was put on the map as the home of Australian distance running. It was there that Australian sporting history was made when John Landy stopped to pick up his rival Clarke, who had fallen mid race. Cathy Freeman trained and raced on the track.
Our treasured sporting events are linked to the people and venues they entertained us at. The track's end closes an important chapter in our sporting history.