Australia’s 2009 world champion discus thrower Dani Samuels talks upcycling and moonshine.

1. I once drank paint thinner (accidentally!)

“When I was aged seven I accidentally drank a bottle of turps and I was rushed to hospital to get my stomach pumped.

“My dad is a cabinet maker and he was busy polishing a cabinet back home when I was in the garage and thirsty. I picked up a spray bottle of turps – thinking it was water – and started drinking from it. I went blue in the face and milk was poured down my throat to stop me vomiting.

“I was rushed to hospital and stayed overnight, but thankfully I was fine. I learned my lesson to never drink from an unmarked bottle in the home of a cabinet maker!”

2. I like to refurbish furniture

“Refurbishing furniture and interior design are two areas of interest for me. I got into both when I bought my first home in 2010. I found the thought of refurbishing some old things from antique stores appealing.

“I love natural timber – I like that look in a home. So when that style became trendy I got into refurbishing. I do enjoy the redesign TV shows and I subscribe to a design magazine.

“It was exciting when I first bought a new house, because it was like designing from a big, blank canvas and the options were endless.”

3. I am from a family of basketball players

“My mum, Tracy, used to coach basketball and both my sisters, Jamie and Casey, have played to a high level and represented Australia at the U19 World Championships. I was bouncing a basketball from the age of six in the arena where my mum would be coaching and my dad and sister would be training.

“I, too, soon started playing. In fact, I played the game until I was about 20. It was sensational in terms of helping my athletics. My coach, Denis Knowles, always encouraged me to play because he saw it as a great way of cross training. It helped my explosiveness, agility, fitness and elastic power – many qualities that are transferable to discus throwing.

“I believe one of my strengths as a discus thrower is my athleticism and I would credit a lot of that to playing basketball.”