Paralympic swimmer Daniel Dias, hails from Campinas, north of Sao Paulo, and is Brazil’s most successful athlete of the last decade: a record-breaking Paralympian, he has won a remarkable 15 medals at the last two Paralympics.
Born with malformed upper and lower limbs, Dias he was inspired to learn to swim aged 16 after watching compatriot Clodoaldo Silva at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. He mastered the four strokes in two months and entered his first international competition – the IPC Swimming World Championships in Durban, South Africa – only two years later, winning three gold and two silver medals.
Further success came at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, where Dias won nine medals including four golds – more than any other athlete at the Games. He continued on his success at the IPC World Championships in 2010 in Eindhoven, from which he took home eight gold and one silver medal; at London 2012, he won a further six titles – all in world record time.
But he’s not done yet. Daniel was an ambassador for Brazil’s successful bid for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and continues to have a role raising awareness and excitement across Brazil. The champion has his sights on achieving even more sporting success at his home Games as well as inspiring the next generation of Paralympians.
“I hope that my success will encourage young people with a disability to take up swimming.”
Dias’ considerable achievements in the pool and his commitment to getting more young people living with a disability have not gone unnoticed. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation awarded him Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability in 2009, 2013 and 2016.
Key competitive achievemets:
|Paralympic Games||IPC Swimming World Championships|
|Rio 2016||London 2012|
| || || |
Year of birth: 1988
Classification: S5, SB4 and SM5
Coach: Marcos Rojo Prado
Home team/club: Association for Disabled Sports, São Paulo
Career highlights: Winning six Gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics Games, all in world record time
For sport: Around the pool a water proof 3R80 knee and Triton foot.
For everyday: Genium and Triton foot.