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.
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.