Talk about a fairytale farewell.
You couldn't have scripted Hockeyroos great Rechelle Hawkes' departure any better.
The West Australian was the only member of the team which won Australia's first Olympic hockey title at the 1988 Seoul Games to make it all the way to Sydney 2000.
Having also played a key role in the squad which won gold again in Atlanta, Hawkes was a popular choice to read the Athletes' Oath at the opening ceremony on home soil.
That brought its own pressure.
"I do remember that as if it was yesterday because there were a lot nerves," Hawkes told AAP.
"There were a lot of people coming up and telling me not to muck it up because there would be so many people watching.
"It was the true Aussie spirit of 'don't stuff this thing up', which has happened before.
"I remember sweating bullets on the way to the stadium and then looking across to (Australian flagbearer) Andrew Gaze and he was as relaxed as could be because he just had to walk out with a flag and not remember any lines."
With that mission duly accomplished, Hawkes - then aged 33 - could turn her full attention to the main event.
Both she and coach Ric Charlesworth had made it well known that this would be their swansong for the Hockeyroos.
"Just before the tournament started I saw a newspaper article that said Ian Thorpe, Cathy Freeman and the Hockeyroos were at unbackable odds to win gold," said Hawkes.
"As soon as I read that I thought 'I've got to switch off because I need to narrow my focus and play as well as I can'.
"It was a really emotional time.
"It was going to be my last Games and that was playing on my mind.
"It was a home Games and leading into the tournament the team had had some ups and downs so there was real pressure on us to perform."
The Hockeyroos were unbeaten in the preliminary and medal rounds as they powered into the gold-medal match against Argentina.
Superstar Alyson Annan settled the nerves by scoring the opening goal in the 10th minute as Australia won 3-1, with Hawkes throwing her stick into the crowd at the conclusion of her swansong match.
"Finals often aren't the most spectacular games or the best spectacle," said the Australian captain.
"You're at the end of the tournament, they're generally low-scoring, dour affairs and that game was no different.
"It probably wasn't my best game but I was able to run it out and contribute.
"Most of us felt like that."
In victory, Hawkes joined Dawn Fraser and Andrew Hoy in an ultra-exclusive club of Australians to have won gold medals at three separate Olympics.
Australian Associated Press