Despite winning two bronze medals at World Championships, as well as a Paralympic silver at the Beijing 2008 Games, Alan Fonteles Oliveira went into London 2012 a relative unknown.
Within three days of competition in the Olympic Stadium however he was a global superstar having created one of the biggest shocks in world sport by becoming the first man ever to beat South African Oscar Pistorius over 200m.
Double leg amputee Fonteles Oliveira made his international debut in 2008 aged just 16 years. In Beijing he finished seventh in the 200m T43/44 final and claimed bronze as part of Brazil’s T42-46 4x100m relay team.
At the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in New Zealand he gave a glimpse of his huge potential. He won bronze in a memorable 100m race that saw all seven athletes go under 12 seconds for the first time and USA’s Jerome Singleton become the first man to beat Pistorius over 100m. Fonteles Oliveira’s time of 11.43 seconds was just 0.09 seconds behind that of gold medal winner Singleton.
In the 4x100m relay T42-46 Oliveira was part of the Brazil team that, just like in Beijing, again took bronze.
It is London though where Fonteles Oliveira came of age and made a name for himself.
In the heats of the 200m he sent out a clear message to his rivals that he was a medal contender when he led home a strong field in a personal best time of 21.88 seconds. His time was almost a second and half quicker than that of world silver medallist Jerome Singleton who trailed home in second place.
Although a medal contender, no one expected him to win gold, especially after Pistorius ran a blistering 21.30 seconds in his heat to obliterate his own world record by 0.28 seconds.
The final though was a remarkable affair and left an extremely vocal capacity crowd of 80,000.
Fonteles Oliveira was drawn in the lane just outside Pistorius and was soon behind after the start. By 100m he was in vying for second place with another South African, Arnu Fourie, whilst Pistorius was well ahead of the field.
With 70m to go Oliveira made a stunning charge for the line, whilst Pistorius appeared to feel the effect of his world record run the previous day and slow down.
Both were neck and neck with 10m to go, and with Oliveira in the ascendency it was he who took gold in an Americas record time of 21.45 much to the amazement of those who assumed a Pistorius gold would be a formality.
Oliveira’s gold medal success was global news and in his native Brazil it knocked football off the back pages of newspapers.
He is now recognised on the streets of Brazil and is the poster boy for the Rio 2016 Games.
In Lyon, France at the IPC Athletics World Championships he will be keen to show the world that his Paralympic success was no fluke.