iPhone-hurling Aussie Benn Harradine is far from your ordinary athlete. We give you five good reasons why the Oceania record holder in the men's discus is such a compelling personality.

1. Overcoming adversity

Born with a congenital hepatic fibrosis – a rare disorder in which half of the liver is covered in scar tissue and fails to function – Harradine (32) was not allowed to play contact sports as a youngster. Instead he pursued individual sports leading him to the discus.

“It probably sounds worse than it is and through a lot of good lifestyle management it can be handled,” says the teetotal Harradine.

Nonetheless, he adds: “My road to recovery [after illness or injury] tends to be much longer, because I can't take anti-inflammatories. For me, it is just plain old ice.”  

2. Flashy outfits

Always one to think outside of the box – or should that be circle – after going through a downtime in the sport in 2009, he had an epiphany. He realised he wanted to compete in the sport to have fun and more on his own terms.

He got a tattoo on his chest and decided to design his own uniforms – which include designs such as the Tuxedo, Lederhosen and The Incredible Hulk

A photo posted by Benn Harradine (@bennharradine) on

A fan of the slightly unusual...

“It was not to market myself or give me a greater profile, it was genuinely for me to feel happy in the circle,” he adds. “Although wearing the suits did bring a lot of pressure. I didn't want to throw poorly and look a douchebag, so that was a really good motivation as well.” 

3. The lyricist

A lover of the arts – music and poetry – Harradine has recently been working with a friend on a number of recordings with the end goal to put together an EP. 

“I write a lot of the lyrics and he’s in charge of the melodies,” he explains. “We make a very good team. It’s been really good fun. People take inspiration from many different pathways and one of mine is music.”

4. Mad as a hatter

A collector of hats – of the wide brimmed variety – Harradine has taken to the shaping and styling of them.

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“I really like to take a hat from scratch, create it in a certain way and give it a bit of character,” he explains.

“It has been a project of mine over the last couple of years. Shaping hats is a great old craft using all the tools. If you look at people like John Mayer and Johnny Depp, who like to wear hats, they have a shape and style of look to suit that person and that’s what I like to do.”

5. Mentoring the next generation

Keen to pass on the knowledge he has accrued during his lengthy career, Harradine is set to launch a mentoring squad of three coaches and six athletes in the Australian city of Brisbane. 

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“I’m approaching the latter stage of my career and I'm not sure if I’ll carry on after Rio. I'm lucky in that I've learned from some of the world’s best in their field and I want to be in a position to have this info passed on.”