Quick Facts

Disability
Physical Impairment – Paraplegia
Sport
Table Tennis
How acquired
Wall collapse
Date of Birth
October 16, 1974
Home
Brunswick, VIC
Occupation
Chinese medicine practitioner and athlete
Started Competing
1988
First Competed for Australia
1989
Games Experience

Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016

Career Highlights

Australia winning the 1999 World Team Cup

Greatest Moment

Being a part of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games

Bio

Six-time Paralympian Danni Di Toro was 14 when a wall collapsed on her at a school swimming carnival, causing her to become a paraplegic. A keen sportswoman, Danni feared she had no future in sport until meeting wheelchair basketball legend Sandy Blythe while undergoing rehabilitation for her injuries.

With Sandy by her side during her recovery, Danni was inspired to take up wheelchair tennis, bursting onto the international scene in 1989. Australia’s foremost female wheelchair tennis player, Danni won 10 Australian Open singles titles including nine between the years 2000 and 2008, the US Open twice and is a dual world singles champion.

Competing in five Paralympic Games as a wheelchair tennis player, Danni first medalled at Sydney 2000, winning silver in the women’s doubles with Branka Pupovac, with singles bronze coming four years later in Athens.

Danni briefly retired from wheelchair tennis in 2005 to focus on her studies in Chinese medicine, but continued to coach and mentor Australia’s brightest young players. Missing being a part of the action, she came out of retirement in January 2007 for the Australian Open’s Wheelchair Tennis Super Series, the first fully integrated open wheelchair competition in a grand slam event anywhere in the world.

At her first Paralympic Games since coming out of retirement, Danni lost to Dutch champion Esther Vergeer in straight sets, crashing out of the first round of competition. However, she says that this gave her the opportunity to truly understand what it meant to be involved in the Paralympic movement, explaining:

“In the past I’ve always been so caught up in my own competition; I’ve missed out on seeing my friends compete and getting a sense of what people must feel when they’re watching Paralympic sport. It’s extraordinary.”

The 2016 Australian Paralympic Team co-captain made the move to Para-table tennis in 2015, losing both her matches in Rio 3-0 3-0.

Outside of sport, Danni enjoys gardening, going to the theatre and listening to live music. In 10 years’ time she hopes to be practicing Chinese medicine in a beautiful part of the world, living gently and sustainably, and helping people achieve physical and mental wellbeing.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Table Tennis Disciplines: Singles Classification: 4