Academy Member



Daniel Dias is one of the most successful Paralympic swimmers of his generation, having won four gold medals in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio in 2016. He has twice been named the Laureus Sportsperson with a disability of the year.

Daniel Dias is Brazil’s most decorated Paralympian. A brilliant swimmer, he won 14 gold, seven silver and three bronze medals at three Games - Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. He hopes to add to this total at the rescheduled 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, after which he will retire. 
He has won the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award a record three times, in 2009, 2013 and 2016.
Daniel was born in 1988 in Campinas, to the north of Sao Paulo. He was born with malformed upper and lower limbs and began swimming at 16 after being inspired by fellow Brazilian Clodoaldo Silva at the 2004 Paralympic Games.
At 20, he competed in his first Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008. It was a triumph for Daniel who won more medals than any other athlete, including four golds (100 & 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 200m medley), four silvers and one bronze. As a result he won his first Laureus Award. 
In 2009 he won eight individual golds and three relay silvers at the IPC Swimming World Championships Short Course, in Rio de Janeiro, and a year later won eight golds and a silver medal at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven. 
Daniel’s greatest Paralympics came at London 2012, when he won six gold medals out of six events. He was Brazil's flag bearer at the opening ceremony and once again won another Laureus Award. 
Famously he was one of the local heroes in Brazil in 2016 when he won nine medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, including four golds. As a result he won the Laureus Disability Award for a record third time. 
In his career he also won 40 World Championship medals, including 31 golds, and 33 Parapan American Games, all of which are gold. 
He was named a Laureus Ambassador in October 2015 and became an Academy Member in 2021.
He also studied mechatronical engineering and physical education at the Universidade São Francisco and marketing at the Mackenzie Presbyterian University, São Paulo.

Email Sign up

Email Sign-up

Sign up for all things Laureus

Get regular updates throughout the year