Hélio da Silva started out as a hurdler, but soon switched to sprinting and triple jumping. In 1949 he won the Brazilian and South American titles, and the Rio de Janeiro Championship. His great rival was Adhemar da Silva, who would later win the 1952 and 1956 Olympic gold medals, but Hélio da Silva pushed him severely. At the 1951 Pan American Games Hélio was fourth in the 100 metres and placed second behind Adhemar da Silva in the triple jump. In late 1951 the two attacked the world record of 16.00 set by Japan’s Naoto Tajima at the 1936 Olympics. On 2 September Hélio record 15.90 and had a foul measured at 16.03. Adhemar da Silva narrowly broke the record on 30 September with 16.01, but on 18 November in Rio de Janeiro, Hélio recorded 15.99, the third longest jump ever. Unfortunately he was injured on the landing and it effectively ended his career, causing him to miss the 1952 Olympics. He later came back to place second at the 1954 South American Championships, but never again went past 15 metres.
Personal Bests\: 100 – 10.4 (1951); TJ – 15.99 (1951).