The biggest medalist in Brazil in Paralympics ended his career. Daniel Dias swam your last test in Tokyo-2020, the final of the 50m freestyle class S5 (athletes with congenital malformations or amputees) and came fourth, behind three Chinese athletes. She stops at age 33 and has participated in four Games.
Daniel didn’t have a good start, but he recovered quickly and gradually overtook his competitors – except for the Chinese. Daniel closed with a time of 32s12. The gold medalist was Tao Zheng (30s31), who broke the Paralympic record, Weiyi Yuan was silver (31s11) and Lichan Wang came third (31s35) and took bronze.
In an interview with SportTV, Daniel showed a lot of emotion. “It’s over, but I’m happy. I just have to thank God, praise Him. God gave me infinitely more than I asked for, if I wrote it wouldn’t be as perfect as it was. And thank my family. Every stroke is for them. Dad is coming home,” he said, while crying.
Daniel has 27 Paralympic medals under his belt, 14 of which are gold, seven silver and six bronze. In World Championships, Brazilians have 40 medals, 31 of which are gold, and in Parapan American Games, there are 33 medals, all gold.
In Tokyo, Daniel increased the medal collection with three more bronzes: in the 100m freestyle S5, in the 200m freestyle S5 and in the 4x50m freestyle mixed 20 points relay, which brings together athletes from different classes, but whose numerical sum has to be 20. , played in the finals and ended up without a medal in two more races: he was sixth in the 50m breaststroke of the S5 class and fifth in the 50m backstroke S5.
In the last Olympic cycle, swimming underwent a reclassification and athletes who were previously from S6 ended up “falling” to S5. Thus, Daniel had to enter into disputes against competitors with less severe disabilities, who dominated the tests with great advantage for those who were already from S5.
In Tokyo, Daniel demonstrated a few times that this made him doubt whether he would achieve any further achievements. After reaching his second bronze medal in Tokyo, Dias told SportTV that he took a weight off his back with the achievement of the first, which had been the day before. “Things are flowing,” he rejoiced.
With his career about to end, Daniel can be sure he has inspired many others to become swimmers. He started in the sport that way: with a congenital malformation in his upper limbs and right leg, he started competing in 2006, inspired by Clodoaldo Silva, and broke all possible records.
“I’m very grateful for swimming. I never imagined getting where I am. If I were to write, when I started, 16 years ago, everything I achieved, I would never be able to write it. It wouldn’t be as perfect as it was,” he said. announce retirement in January.
Outside the pools, Daniel should be more dedicated to the Daniel Dias Institute, created in 2014 to promote Brazilian Paralympic sport, and also to acting behind the scenes of the sport – he is a member of the General Assembly of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and of the National Athletes Commission.