Daniel Dias, winner of 14 gold medals in various swimming events at previous editions of the Paralympic Games, arrived in Japan on 23 November to appear at an event organised by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Worldwide Paralympic Partner Panasonic.
In the morning, once children caught sight of Daniel Dias swimming, a group of young swimming fans – from elementary school children to university students –gathered round to watch. When Daniel demonstrated his skilful swimming style to propel both arms and legs, a great cheer from went up from the children. And even their parents and guardians joined in the applause. After racing against several children, Dias revealed the secret of his strength, later joking: "Don't tell anyone else about this secret, or I won't be able to win anymore Paralympic medals!" He also told the children that it was important to set goals and work hard to achieve them. After the event, Dias happily posed for photos and signed autographs, and visitors to the event were charmed by his smiling face and hugs of the children.
In the afternoon, Daniel Dias gave a workshop for around 30 university students. He told those taking part, “it's not only athletes who can win gold medals. Many different kinds of people can become champions in a variety of fields.” Hearing these inspirational words, the students put their heads together to come up with ideas for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Daniel Dias' motto is ‘Keep smiling!’ Despite impairments to both arms and legs, we are looking forward to seeing him add to his already-impressive tally of 24 gold, silver and bronze medals at the Tokyo 2020 Games.