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Daniel de Faria Dias (born 24 May 1988) is a Brazilian Paralympic swimmer. Having learnt to swim in 2004 after being inspired by Clodoaldo Silva at the 2004 Summer Paralympics, he entered his first international competition two years later winning five medals. He competed in a wide range of swimming events at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympics and won 24 medals, including 14 gold medals.[1]

Daniel Dias
Daniel Dias Rio2016b cr.jpg
Dias at the 2016 Paralympics
Personal information
Full name Daniel de Faria Dias
Nickname(s) Dani
Nationality Brazilian
Born (1988-05-24) 24 May 1988 (age 29)
Campinas, São Paulo
Sport Swimming


Early lifeEdit

Dias was born in 1988 in Campinas, a city to the north of São Paulo. He was born with malformed upper and lower limbs.[2] Dias began swimming at the age of 16, after being inspired by Clodoaldo Silva competing at the 2004 Summer Paralympics,[3] and learned four styles of swimming in two months.[4] He studied mechatronical engineering and physical education at the Universidade São Francisco.[3]


His first major event was the 2006 IPC Swimming World Championships in Durban, South Africa. He won the gold medal in three events, and a silver medal in a further two.[2] At the age of 20, he competed in his first Paralympic Games at Beijing in 2008. The Games proved highly successful for Dias, who won more medals than any other athlete. He received a total of nine medals including four golds, four silvers, and one bronze across a range of different distances and disciplines.[4]

Dias won the Laureus Award in 2009 for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability,[5] being awarded it by British athlete Sebastian Coe at a ceremony in London.[6] Dias was an ambassador for his country's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and was present for the presentation of the Candidature File to the International Olympic Committee.[6]

Dias won the Sportperson of the Year with a Disability for the second time in 2012 after winning 6 gold medals all in world record time at the 2012 Paralympic Games.[7][8]

As of February 2013, he holds IPC long course swimming world records in all strokes, at a range of distances – 50, 100 and 200 metre freestyle (S5), 50 and 100 metres backstroke (S5), 50 and 100 metres butterfly (S5), 50 and 100 metres breaststroke (SB4) and 200 metre individual medley (SM5).[9]

In 2016 he was compared to Michael Phelps, a retired non-Paralympic American competitive swimmer. Despite such an honorable comparison Daniel Diaz said that he is Daniel Diaz.[10]


  1. ^ Daniel Dias Archived 22 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine..
  2. ^ a b "Athlete of the Month: August 2010: Daniel Dias". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "Daniel Dias Biography". IPC. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "Daniel Dias". Laureus. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  5. ^ "Daniel Dias Wins Laureus Award 2009". 15 June 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Rio 2016 ambassador Daniel Dias wins 2009 Laureus Disability Award". Chinese Olympic Committee. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  7. ^ "World Sports Awards 2013: The Winners". Laureus. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  8. ^ "Dias wins second Laureus World Sports Award". IPC. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  9. ^ "IPC Swimming World Records – Long Course". IPC. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  10. ^ Marissa Payne (9 September 2016). "Brazilian Paralympic swimmer on being compared to Michael Phelps: 'I'm Daniel Dias'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Matthew Cowdrey
  Matthew Cowdrey
World Disabled Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
  Matthew Cowdrey
  Ian Silverman
Preceded by
  Oscar Pistorius
Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability of the Year
Succeeded by
  Marie Bochet