Dani Stevens (nee Samuels) is a discus thrower who was awarded a Scholarship within the 2007 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, she was paired with Pam Ryan AM MBE as her Mentor.
Dani was born in Fairfield, New South Wales in 1988 and started in the sport as a six-year-old in the ‘tiny tots’ program. She attended Westfield Sports High, to play basketball, but was soon attracted to Discus throwing as a teenager.
Dani started slowly in the world of international Athletics. She finished 25th out of 27 at the World Youth Championships while completing year 10. After working with coach Denis Knowles Dani thrived, and won the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2004, the Australian All-Schools the same year, and the World Youth Championships in 2005.
At senior level, she won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, before returning to juniors to win the World Junior Championships. Dani made her Olympic debut in 2008 as the youngest member of Australia’s Athletics team, and in 2009 became the youngest athlete to win a world championship.
Between 2010 and 2013, Dani reached the podium at many world tour events and competed at another Olympic Games. In 2014, she won another gold at the Commonwealth Games and competed at her third Olympic Games, and in 2017 won a silver medal at the World Championships, with a throw that would have won most major championships since 1993.
Dani won gold again at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and qualified for her fourth Olympic Games in 2021.
In October 2021 she announced her retirement from competitive athletics after 4 Olympic Games and 3 Commonwealth Games medals (two gold) and as the youngest-ever female discus World Champion. She is also one of the few athletes to win a world title at youth, junior and senior level.
Honours & Achievements
- 2004: Commonwealth Youth Games U18 – gold.
- 2004: Australian All Schools Athletics – gold.
- 2005: Sydney Australian Youth Olympic Festival – silver.
- 2005: IAAF World Youth Championships – gold.
- 2006: Melbourne Commonwealth Games – bronze.
- 2006: IAAF World Junior Championships – gold.
- 2007: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder.
- 2009: IAAF World Championships – gold.
- 2010: Osaka Grand Prix – gold.
- 2010: Doha IAAF Diamond League Meeting – silver.
- 2011: Melbourne Australian Open – gold.
- 2011: Shanghai IAAF Diamond League Meeting – silver.
- 2012: London Olympic Games – representative.
- 2014: Melbourne IAAF World Challenge – gold.
- 2014: Glasgow Commonwealth Games – gold.
- 2016: Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games – fourth.
- 2017: Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games – fourth.
- 2018: Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games – fourth.
- 2020/2021: Tokyo Olympic Games – 14th.