Meet Team Australia’s Paralympic Opening Ceremony Flag Bearers: Danni Di Toro and Ryley Batt
The Paralympics will kick off in Tokyo at 9pm AEST on Tuesday, August 24, with the Opening Ceremony. And we’re so ready to feel all of the warm, fuzzy feelings as we watch our Aussie athletes compete on the world stage once more.
Carrying the flag for Team Australia at this year’s Paralympics Opening Ceremony is table tennis player Danni Di Toro and wheelchair rugby legend Ryley Batt OAM. According to the ABC, this is Di Toro’s seventh Paralympic Games and Batt’s fourth, with Batt aiming to win his third straight gold medal.
Di Toro made her Paralympics debut in 1996 as a wheelchair tennis player, before moving to table tennis in 2016. She has previously won a silver medal at the Sydney Games in 2000 and Athens in 2004 for wheelchair tennis, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Batt made his debut at the Beijing Games when he was just 15 years old, taking home a silver medal. He won his first gold medal at the London Games in 2012, following it up with another in Rio four years later. And now, Batt and Di Toro will be leading the 179 Australian Para-athletes into the Tokyo Games.
“It’s incredibly humbling, especially when I think about the Paralympians before us who’ve had this honour,” Di Toro said in a statement. “When I first got told, to be honest, there were tears. When people see and appreciate what you do, how much you care and how fiercely passionate you are, it’s really quite emotional and overwhelming.”
“It’s an extreme honour and I’m super proud to share this moment with Danni at a special Paralympic Games,” Batt said. “The world’s going through a lot of negativity at the moment, but this is a hugely positive thing for Australia.
“Danni and I are just being ourselves and bringing this mob together. There’s so many different sports in our Team and people who don’t see each other across the four-year cycle – five years this time – so we’re just being our friendly selves, making sure everyone communicates.”
You can watch Di Toro and Batt carry the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony tonight on free-to-air TV on Channel Seven and 7Plus. Get ready to cheer our athletes on from 9pm tonight!