“My goal was not to win 11 golds but to give the best of myself.”
Brazil finished top of the medals tally at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapans thanks mainly to its swimming star Daniel Dias, who delivered an unprecedented performance by winning 11 golds from 11 events.
Dias was only starting to show what he was capable of and would lead him to become his country’s most decorated Paralympian ever.
As we approach the Americas Paralympic Committee’s (APC) 20th anniversary on 1 August, Daniel Dias’ outstanding performance on Mexican soil enters at No.7 at the APC Top 20 Moments in History.
“It was a great event where I had the privilege to finish top of the individual medals table. I have many good memories from it,” he said.
Three years before, Dias had claimed four golds, four silvers and one bronze. He followed that up with eight world titles in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 2011.
Few doubted he would leave Guadalajara 2011 as a multiple-Parapan American champion but almost none would have bet Dias could win all his 11 events.
“My goal was not to win 11 golds but to give the best of myself,” he said.
Dias subsequently touched in first in the men’s 50m butterfly S5, 200m individual medley SM6, 100m breaststroke SB4, 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle S5, and 50m backstroke S5.
“In terms of number of medals I won it was definitely one of the best performances I have ever delivered,” he said. “All of them were very important to me and I recall that event with great affection.”
The Brazilian also added four golds in the relays: 4x50m medley 20pts, 4x50m freestyle 20pts, 4x100m freestyle 34pts and 4x100m medley 34pts.
“We worked very well as a team. I am very thankful to my teammates because they swam so well that we could win all those events,” he said.