Jessi Miley-Dyer with the Olympic torch
Jessi Miley-Dyer carried the torch by surf boat on to Bondi Beach in 2000.

First up, one of our most recent Hall of Fame inductees - Jessi Miley-Dyer. Jessi is now a decorated former professional surfer, who is also the Vice President of Tours and Operations at the World Surf League. But back in 2000, she was a 14 year old, just embarking on her journey in the surfing world. Jessi reflected on the thoughts and feelings stirred up by remembering that day.

"I brought the Olympic flame into Bondi Beach as part of the Torch relay - the day before the opening Ceremony for the Sydney Games," she said. 

"I was 14 years old and I had one of the most visible legs of the relay in a city full of Olympic fever. There were thousands of people lined on the cliffs watching the flame come in, not to mention the air and sea escort we had of people trying to get close to it. I had never seen anything like it and I had no clue what I was actually doing until I saw the crowds.

"I passed the torch around when we got to North Bondi so we could all take it in. And of course, we decided we should catch a wave, much to the horror of all the helicopters covering it for tv. These boats are a quarter of a tonne and we needed to wait for one big enough, plus we knew we only had one chance.

"After waiting for a while we chose one - when it was apparent we were going to catch it the crew started yelling at me. Stand up!! Get up!! Which resulted in the photo here that went a little bit around the world. I hit the beach and the crowd went nuts, broke the barricade and rushed me, resulting in my assigned security team having to come in to get me and drag me through it.

"To this day probably the most surreal experience of my life. And I still have the torch. One day I’ll turn it into a bbq lighter."

Another UNSW legend to carry the torch was former Wallabies player Simon Poidevin. With 59 caps for the Wallabies between 1980 and 1991, he is rugby royalty and a natural choice to carry the torch. Best of all is this picture of him with current UNSW Elite Athlete Program member and 2016 Rio Olympian Jessica Thornton.

Jess Thornton with Simon Poidevin
Jessica Thornton (bottom left) poses with Simon Poidevin after his leg of the Sydney 2000 torch relay. Photo: Jessica Thornton

Also carrying the torch through Sydney was judo star and 1988 Seoul Olympian Warren Rosser. Warren was Australian champion for six years in the U/65kg weight category and is the head coach of the UNSW Judo Club, as well as being an alumnus and a member of the UNSW Hall of Fame.