Palaympics 2012: Enhamed Enhamed's golden touch

Blind swimmer Enhamed Enhamed has been hailed as the Michael Phelps of the Paralympic Games.

The Spaniard, who lost his sight after suffering a retinal detachment, won four golds at the 2008 Games in Beijing and is set to defend those titles in London.

Here, the 24-year-old Paralympian tells BBC Mundo's Rosario Gabino about losing his sight as a youngster and how his blindness helped him become a world-class athlete.

Enhamed: "I was born in Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain in 1987 and I 'won my blindness' when I was eight. That's when I learnt how to swim.

I always say that I 'won my blindness' because in this life we lose so many things.

Since I became blind - since I won my blindness - my life has changed drastically.

This blindness has given me so much. I've learnt so much that I prefer to say I've won it.

I consider myself to be a very fortunate person. I wouldn't be competing at London 2012 if I wasn't blind.

I remember many images. I remember rainy days. And cloudy days, in particular. The day I won my blindness it was cloudy.

And colours, many colours.

When I was eight, I was told I couldn't jump, or run, or play, because a sudden movement meant I could go blind.

But when you're a child, you don't care.

One day I was running around the house and my mother said: 'Stay still, or you know what is going to happen.'

So I lay down.

When I raised my head five seconds later, I went from seeing to not seeing anything at all.

Water means freedom to me.

That's where I move with ease, where I become myself, where I can go as fast as I want without hearing the words: 'Be careful, you're going to crash.' They actually tell me: 'Come on, you can go faster.'

My favourite style is butterfly. There is a brief moment when you throw your arms in front of you that you are almost above the water.

It feels like flying.

Words such as 'effort' or 'self-improvement' have become meaningless. For me, what is clear is that today we have to do a little bit more, go a little bit further than we did yesterday.

You have to advance and to move in order to enjoy the life you have because soon this day will be gone."

Top Stories