Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Daniela Di Toroin

29 Aug 2012On the eve of the Opening Ceremony here is a story about one of Australia's Paralympian.

Daniela Di Toroin will be one of the seasoned veterans on the team in the London 2012 Paralympics, after already competing in four previous Paralympic Games.

When Daniela was 14, a wall collapsed on her at a school swimming carnival, which has resulted in her paraplegia. Daniela was inspired to continue playing sport while she was in Rehab by rehabilitation worker and wheelchair basketball player Sandy Blythe.

In 2008, Daniela was Australia's only female tennis player at the Beijing Games and it was the first time she really understood what it means to be involved in the Paralympics. “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 at a Paralympic Games. It's extraordinary.”

Daniela has won nine consecutive Australian Wheelchair Tennis Open singles titles. She has also won the US Open twice, and was the World Singles Champion in 1998 and 1999. Daniela won silver with Branka Pupovac in the women's doubles at the Sydney 2000 Games and bronze in the women's singles at Athens 2004. In 1999, Daniela was named Australian Paralympian of the Year.

Daniela retired in 2005 to focus on her studies in Chinese medicine, but continued to coach and mentor young players. She returned from retirement in January 2007 for the Wheelchair Tennis Super Series as part of the Australian Open - the first fully integrated open wheelchair competition in a grand slam event anywhere in the world.

Good luck Daniela!

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