Daniel Dias is Brazil’s most successful athlete of the last decade.
Born in 1988, Dias was inspired to take up swimming after seeing fellow Brazilian Clodoaldo Silva at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
His first World Championships were in 2006, and he left Durban, South Africa as a three-time world champion.
At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games he made a significant impact, winning a total of nine medals, including four golds. His medal haul made him the most decorated athlete at the Games, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Laureus who presented him with the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award in 2009.
In 2009 he also won eight individual golds and three relay silvers at the IPC Swimming World Championships Short Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A year later he was pretty much unbeatable at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands winning eight gold and a silver medal.
He was in even more impressive form at the 2011 Parapan American games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The S5 swimmer claimed gold medals in all 11 events he competed in.
London 2012 saw him win six golds and set four world records, and he won the Laureus Award once again for his achievements in March 2013.
Unfortunately for his opponents, he only appears to be improving with age. Who knows what he can achieve at Rio 2016 after adding a further five individual world titles to his collection at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships.
When he retires he wants to encourage youngsters with an impairment to take up swimming.