Australian record champion Dani Stevens retires after successful Olympic and Commonwealth Games career

Two-time Australian Commonwealth Games gold medalist Dani Stevens took to social media to announce his retirement from the record.

Australian discus champion Dani Stevens has announced her retirement.

Stevens (née Samuels) left the sport as a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist, first winning the honor at the Glasgow Games in 2014 and then again on the Gold Coast in 2018.

She has also represented Australia at four consecutive Olympics, starting with Beijing, where she was the youngest member of the Australian track and field team.

Her best result on the Olympic stage was at the Rio Games in 2016, where she finished in fourth place, just 44cm behind the bronze medal.

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Stevens, 33, also has the distinction of being one of the few athletes to win a world championship in his selected discipline at the junior level, junior at the senior level.

In 2009, at age 21, she became the youngest discus world champion, having been named the junior world champion in 2006 and the junior world champion in 2005. Her senior world championship record still stands.

She won silver at the World Championships in London in 2017 with a personal best of 69.64m, which would have been enough to win Olympic gold at any Games since 2000.

Stevens has fought injuries since her most recent Commonwealth Games gold medal and took to Instagram to reveal she would someday call him.

“Wow what an experience it has been! I never thought that going to Little Athletics to train with the local coach at the age of 8 would lead me to the life I have lived, ”she said.

“It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline, motivation and persistence to train and compete at a world-class level. I always knew I couldn’t do it forever and decided to retire from athletics.

“I can’t express how grateful I am to everyone in my corner. My team, my teammates, my friends, my family and everyone who took the time to applaud, cheer or chat. Your support has allowed me to do what I have for a long time and has meant the world to me.

Stevens thanked his longtime coach Denis Knowles, father of famous NRL coach Hayden, for his support and guidance throughout his career.

“I wouldn’t have achieved some of what I have done without my trainer and longtime friend Denis Knowles,” she said.

“Denis took me from a little athlete, a young girl, and turned me into a world champion. His impact on my life goes far beyond the coach and the athlete and I am proud to call him my best friend.

“He’s been there for me through thick and thin and I can’t wait to move on to the next phase of our coach-athlete relationship where I’m going to teach me how to play chess.”

She also thanked her husband, former shot putter Joe Stevens, whom she described as her “rock”.

“I met Joe when I was 16 on a track team. We went to World Juniors and World Juniors together and since then we’ve been stuck at the hip, ”she said.

“You have been my rock, you always made me laugh and helped me see joy every moment, even when things were not going my way.”

Stevens’ fellow athletes were quick to pay tribute to him online.

On social media, Australian long jump star Brooke Stratton posted: “Congratulations on an amazing career Dani! You are an absolute champion and you have inspired so much. Take advantage of what’s to come.

Marathon runner Jessica Trengrove tweeted, “Thank you for being such an authentic, inspiring, kind and inclusive role model (Dani Stevens)! I wish you all the best for your next chapter ”.

Athletics Australia General Manager Peter Bromley thanked Stevens for his contribution to athletics.

“Throughout her career Dani has been an integral member of the Australian track and field team, not only for her incredible performances, but also for being a leader and role model within the wider community.” , did he declare.

“She joined a rare company when she became a four-time Olympian, and with such a list of accolades, she is now entering the next stage of her life with a special place in the history of Australian athletics.

“While we will certainly miss her, we know that these champion qualities will undoubtedly serve her well in the future in whatever she chooses to do. On behalf of Athletic Australia, I would like to say thank you to Dani and congratulations on your contribution to our sport.

Naomi C. Amerson