Former Suriname swimmer Anthony Nesty makes history as first Black swim coach to lead U.S. team into the World Championships

By Sports Desk February 15, 2022

When Suriname Olympian Anthony Nesty was named the head coach of the USA men’s team for the 2022 Budapest World Championships, he made history in multiple ways.

The most culturally significant is that he becomes the first black swim coach to lead a U.S. team into the World Championships.

Nesty’s selection can hardly be considered as some sort of affirmative action pick: he, along with Todd DeSorbo, who is leading the women’s team to Budapest, number among the country’s most on-fire coaches at the moment, and are arguably at the top of the global food chain as well.

Nesty-coached swimmers Bobby Finke and Kieran Smith to Olympic medals, with Finke pulling off a surprise 800/1500 double in thrilling come-from-behind fashion.

Since the Olympics, the United States’ two most-decorated swimmers in Tokyo have joined Nesty’s group: Caeleb Dressel, who was training previously in the same pool but under former Florida head coach Gregg Troy; and Katie Ledecky, who made the post-Tokyo move from Stanford where she trained under Greg Meehan.

In total, those four swimmers have a combined 16 Olympic gold medals and 20 total Olympic medals. Throw in a bronze from Natalie Hinds, who was training at Georgia pre-Tokyo but has also now joined the Gators post-grad group, and the Nesty-led staff is now the epicentre of the swimming universe, at least in the Western Hemisphere.

He has broken barriers before that 1988 Olympic gold medal made him the first Black male athlete to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming.  It wasn’t his only achievement. 

As an athlete, representing Suriname, Nesty was not only the 1988 Olympic gold medallist and 1992 Olympic bronze medallist in the 100 butterfly but was also a 1991 World Champion in the same event.

 

 

 

Related items

  • Alia Atkinson elected as FINA Athletes’ Committee Chair Alia Atkinson elected as FINA Athletes’ Committee Chair

    FINA on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Jamaican swimming legend Alia Atkinson to the CHAIR of their Athletes Committee.

    FINA is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competitions in water sports. The represented disciplines are Swimming; diving; artistic swimming; water polo; open water swimming and high diving.

    This appointment in the first instance is effective for four years. In this position, Atkinson will have responsibility for Athletes affairs not only for swimming, but in all water sport disciplines. As Chairperson, she represents the Committee and Athlete voice at the highest level of decision making.

    When contacted, Atkinson said how thrilled and honored she was with the appointment and indicated that she is looking forward to making a contribution to the development of swimmers and aquatic sports globally.

    “Today marks another significant step forward for both FINA and all aquatics athletes,” said Atkinson.

    “The Athletes’ Committee will act as a critical link between athletes and FINA. Having the athlete community choose those who represent them in important decisions is critical for the future development of our beloved sport,” Atkinson added.

    Atkinson, the current world record holder in the short course 50m and 100m breaststroke, retired from the sport in 2021 after competing at the World Swimming Championships in December.

    She won a total of 31 major championship medals for Jamaica since her debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics including 15 gold, 10 silver and six bronze.

  • Athletics chief Coe backs FINA as swimming changes stance on transgender issue Athletics chief Coe backs FINA as swimming changes stance on transgender issue

    World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said swimming's global governing body was acting in its "best interest" by launching measures that will see transgender women banned from racing against elite female competitors.

    FINA [Federation Internationale de Natation] announced on Sunday that it would bar all transgender women who had experienced any stage of male puberty from racing in women's events.

    It marked a distinct shift in policy for a major sport and was welcomed by long-time campaigners, including the British former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies.

    There have been calls for other sports to following swimming's example and move away from eligibility policies that are based on testosterone limits; however, LGBT advocacy groups have strongly criticised FINA's move.

    US-based group Athlete Ally said FINA's restrictions were "discriminatory, harmful, unscientific and not in line with the 2021 IOC [International Olympic Committee] principles".

    The swimming authority said the regulation had been voted in by a 71.5 per cent majority after FINA commission members heard from an athletes' group, a science and medicine group, and a legal and human rights group.

    Athletics has yet to commit to a similar policy, but Coe's indication of support for FINA's position points to that being a possibility in the future.

    Speaking to BBC Sport, Coe said: "We see an international federation asserting its primacy in setting rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interest of its sport.

    "This is as it should be. We have always believed that biology trumps gender and we will continue to review our regulations in line with this. We will follow the science.

    "We continue to study, research and contribute to the growing body of evidence that testosterone is a key determinant in performance, and have scheduled a discussion on our regulations with our council at the end of the year."

     

  • FIU's Kelsie Campbell to compete for Jamaica at Commonwealth Games FIU's Kelsie Campbell to compete for Jamaica at Commonwealth Games

    Florida International University (FIU) swimmer Kelsie Campbell has been selected for Jamaica’s team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28-August 8.

    “Happy to announce that I’ve been selected to represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games this summer,” said the British-born 24-year-old on her Instagram page.

    “To those who have supported me this far…I’m in the best shape of my life and I owe you all thanks for getting me here,” the FIU senior added.

    Campbell helped the FIU Women’s Swimming and Diving team finish second overall at the CSCAA (College Swimming Coaches Association of America) National Invitational Championship in Indiana on Thursday.

    FIU finished with 623 points behind Ohio State (828 points) and ahead of Tennessee (575.5 points).

    Campbell broke a school record to take silver in the 100 Yard Individual Medley in 55.21.

    She also broke a program record in the prelims of the 50m butterfly with 23.90 on Tuesday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.