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.

 

 

 

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