'The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games generated a national media celebration of Aboriginal 400 metre runner Cathy Freeman. The construction of Freeman as the symbol of national reconciliation was evident in print and on television, the Internet and radio. In contrast to this celebration of Freeman, the letters to the editor section of 11 major newspapers became sites for competing claims over what constitutes Australian identity and the place of Aboriginal people in national culture. We analyse this under-exposed medium of opinion and discuss how the deep feelings evident in these letters, and the often vitriolic responses to them, illustrate some of the enduring racial tensions in Australian society.' Source: The authors.