15/04/2024
Daniela di Toro represents Australia at her seventh Paralympics at Tokyo 2020 and will carry the flag alongside Ryley Batt at the Opening Ceremony.

Daniela di Toro represents Australia at her seventh Paralympics at Tokyo 2020 and will carry the flag alongside Ryley Batt at the Opening Ceremony. Photo: Paralympics

Seven-time Paralympian Daniela di Toro will enter Japan National Stadium tonight carrying the Australian flag alongside co-captain Ryley Batt.

Australian Table Tennis player Daniela di Toro will represent the Australian Paralympic Team alongside Ryley Batt. After the pair was announced as Australia’s two flag bearers for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Only a handful of people can say they have represented Australia at the Paralympics, even fewer can say they represented Australia at the Paralympics at two different sports.

Danni di Toro is one of those individuals, competing in table tennis for the second time at the Paralympics. Previously she was in the Australian Wheelchair Tennis Team from Atlanta 1996 to London 2012.

A two-time medallist for Wheelchair Tennis, di Toro won silver in Sydney in the Women’s Doubles event alongside Branka Pupovac and bronze in Athens in the Women’s Singles. In 2005 she retired briefly before returning in 2007 to play in two more Paralympics.

Photo: Tennis Australia

It wasn’t until 2015 that she made a name for herself in Table Tennis competing as a Class 4 player, she went on to qualify for Rio 2016 but failed to advance past her opening matches losing both.

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Di Toro has had plenty of leadership experience with the Australian Paralympic Team, taking on the co-captain role with Kurt Fearnley ahead of the 2016 Paralympics. Despite Fearnley’s retirement following Rio 2016, di Toro has continued on as co-captain alongside Ryley Batt.

She’s also taken on additional roles following Rio, in 2017 the seven-time Paralympian was appointed as Paralympics Australia’s Athlete Engagement and Wellbeing Officer and the Vice-Chairperson of the Athlete Commission.

Di Toro has embraced the leadership roles leaning on her background in mental health to help her in leading the team.

“Sport’s a very selfish thing,” Di Toro said speaking with ESPN, “and I enjoy pushing myself and I enjoy the arena to learn about myself. But being able to lead a team in the way that Kurt [Fearnley] and I did [at Rio 2016] was a whole other level.

“My role within the Australian Paralympic team for Rio was almost the welfare role, really. My background is mental health.

“I did a psych degree coming out of high school and worked in youth services, spent some time working in the juvenile justice system. So it sits kind of comfortably for me.”

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