VU alumna Daniela Di Toro has been appointed co-captain of Australia’s Rio Paralympic team together with fellow wheelchair champion athlete Kurt Fearnley.
Daniela Di Toro now 41 years old has an incredible list of achievements to her name. She ended her wheelchair tennis career with silver and bronze Paralympic medals from Sydney and Athens, 12 Australian Open titles, four US Open titles and four French Open titles. The former two-time world number one was named Australian Paralympian of the Year in 1999 and in 2000, and received an Australian Sports Medal.
Graduating from VU with a Bachelor of Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbs) in 2009 Di Toro was studying at VU when she was Australia’s sole female tennis player at the Beijing Games.
Di Toro is now set to compete at her sixth Paralympics in Rio. Di Toro will feature in a new sport – she will be representing Australia after qualifying and playing for less than two years in table tennis.
VU’s other two competitors are hoping to repeat their London Paralympic gold medal performances.
Current Remedial Massage student and shot-putter Todd Hodgetts OAM smashed his own world record several times this year and is keen to do so again. The reigning Paralympic and World Champion in the F20 event was awarded Athletics Australia Male Para-athlete of the Year in 2015 as well as VU’s 2015 High Performance Sport Scholarship and Male Athlete of the Year.
Footscray resident, Josh Hose plays for the Steelers, the wheelchair rugby team that defeated Canada to win gold in London. The athlete and motivational speaker, who completed Certificate IV in Disability at VU, was injured in a car accident in 2005 and took up wheelchair rugby as part of his rehabilitation.
Each of these student athletes have been awarded with a VU Sport Award (Full Blue) during their studies at VU recognising rewarding and promoting their outstanding sporting performance on the world stage.