A congenital deformity of Daniel, who was born with incomplete arms and legs, took him to the S5 category of Olympic swimming, and in this class the Brazilian became the most medalist in the history of the Paralympic Games. In London he won all six races he participated in and in Rio he remained dominant.
Prior to Tokyo, the International Paralympic Committee carried out a new reclassification, moving athletes who had previously competed in a class with less mobility restrictions to the S5.
Daniel criticized the change and said that competing with less limited swimmers would waste their title chances. He leaves Japan with three bronze medals (in the 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle and in the mixed 4×50 freestyle relay).
In the 50-meter race, gold medalist Tao Cheng finished nearly two seconds ahead of the Brazilian. Cheng, like other Chinese who have completed the podium, previously competed in and reclassified the S6 class, dominating the S5.
With 27 medals, 14 of which are gold, Daniel ended his career as the third greatest champion in men’s Paralympic swimming. Canadian Michael Edgson, who competed between 84 and 92, won 18 golds. Brett Mike Kenny won 16 gold medals between 76 and 88.
The greatest Paralympic athlete in history is American swimmer Trisha Zorn, with 41 gold medals and 55 medals between 1980 and 2004.
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