Known as ‘Tubarão’ (Shark) of the swimming pool, Clodoaldo Silva, 25, who has suffered from cerebral palsy since childbirth, which affects the movement of his legs and motor coordination, won six gold medals and one silver in the Athens Paralympics.
He won gold in 4 x 50 metres medley (Paralympic record), 50 metres freestyle S4 (World and Paralympic record), 150 metres individual medley, 50 metres butterfly S4 (Paralympic Record), 200 metres freestyle S4 (Paralympic record), 100 metres freestyle S4 (Paralympic record), and silver in the 4 x 50metres freestyle. He also holds the world record for the 100 metres freestyle.
Silva says: "I believe that these results show that we are capable of achieving anything if we have the objective and the determination to carry it through.”
An advocate for people with cerebral palsy, he is involved in several community projects and focuses his actions on helping children and teenagers less economically favoured. In December 2004 he took the first shot in a charity wheelchair basketball game. The price of each ticket for the game consisted of one kilo of non-perishable food which was then distributed in a poor suburb region of his hometown Natal.