Daniel Dias Wins Laureus Award 2009
Bonn, Germany - Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias is the winner of the 2009 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award. The award was presented by Laureus World Sports Academy members Sebastian Coe and Edwin Moses in East London, Great Britain.
Mr. Dias set the pool on fire in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, winning four gold, four silver and one bronze medal.
After receiving the Laureus statuette, Mr. Dias said: "I am so grateful to the members of the Laureus Academy for giving me this Award. This is such a great honour. The Laureus Disability Award is held in the highest regard in the Paralympic world and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to receive it. This is also important recognition for my sport of Swimming and will help with my mission to encourage young swimmers with a disability in Brazil to take up sport. I thank Laureus with all my heart." Daniel Dias has become one of the biggest sports stars in Brazil, promoting Paralympic Sport and being a role model for younger athletes.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: "I offer Daniel my most sincere congratulations. His record is absolutely phenomenal. His success in Beijing was exceptional and he has shown he has tremendous internal strength to achieve what he has in his career already. He was only 21 last month so it is amazing to think what he may be able to accomplish in the future. He has so many years ahead of him. I would also like to congratulate him on the great work he does in Brazil to promote disability sport."
Other nominees in the category for Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability were April Holmes (Athletics, USA), Darren Kenny (Cycling, Great Britain), Jonas Jacobsson (Shooting, Sweden), Teresa Perales (Swimming, Spain), Zhang Lixin (Athletics China).
The prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards honour the world's best sportsmen and women and celebrate sporting excellence across all disciplines and continents each year. The winners are selected by a jury, including members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. The Awards are bestowed in a range of categories, including World Sportsman and World Sportswoman of the Year, World Team of the Year, World Breakthrough of the Year, World Comeback of the Year, World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability and World Action Sportsperson of the Year.