These days, the former sprinter, now 48, is living a much more low-key life.
Since 2007, she has been the co-founder and director of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, a non-profit organisation that focuses on educational programs to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children fulfil their potential in school and beyond.
"Growing up I had the opportunity to experience quality educational opportunities and the support to go with it. By going to school, I was able to recognise my potential as an athlete and fulfil my dream of achieving Olympic gold," she says on her website.
"Attending school opens up opportunities to learn, experience life and allows children to explore their talents. I believe education is the key to a positive pathway.
"I want to be a positive role model, especially for kids and Aboriginal people."
Cathy along with her husband James Murch and their daughter Ruby (born in 2011) reside in Melbourne. Due to coronavirus stage four lockdown regulations in September 2020, she was unable to travel to Sydney for the 20th anniversary of the games.
"I'm too busy kind of burrowing away at domestic bliss now, as you are, as others are sometimes," she said of lockdown to the ABC at the time.
"I often take a good look up around and see the reactions of folk to me as that athlete I was 20 years ago, it certainly takes me back, certainly surprises me."
The ex-athlete was previously married to Alexander 'Sandy' Bodecker from 1999 until 2003. She also dated actor Joel Edgerton for three years in between her marriages.
Cathy is also the subject of the 2020 documentary Freeman, and despite being a private person described the film as "an introduction into the athlete [she] once was."
"Thank you for all your messages of support re the FREEMAN film. It’s truly been overwhelming and I’m so happy so many enjoyed it. And thank you Laurence Billiet of @general_strike for getting it right. Yourself, Stephen Page, Lillian Banks and everyone involved portrayed my story perfectly," she wrote on Instagram.
So what does the future hold for Cathy?
"I absolutely am very proud to represent Indigenous exceptionalism I guess, in a sense, but I'm one of many," she told the ABC.
"And I represent a possibility for all kids, but certainly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids in particular.
"It's a role that I take quite seriously. I'm quite aware of the impact that it generates. I'm not one for resting on my laurels. Lot of work ahead."