Anthony Nesty

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameAnthony Conrad•Nesty
Used nameAnthony•Nesty
Born25 November 1967 in ? (TTO)
Measurements180 cm / 78 kg
NOC Suriname
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2


In 1988, Anthony Nesty became the first black swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal and was also the first Olympic medalist for Suriname. Nesty was not considered a butterfly favorite in Seoul, that being Matt Biondi, after the world’s best butterflyer in the mid-1980s, Pablo Morales, shockingly failed to make the US team at the Olympic Trials. In the 100 butterfly final at Seoul, Biondi led the race until the last stroke, but he was between strokes at the wall and elected to kick in, only to be slightly farther out than he realized, which allowed Nesty to pass him and win gold by 1/100th of a second. Nesty also qualified for the 200 fly final, finishing eighth, and in 1992, won another Olympic medal, bronze in the 100 fly.

Born in Trinidad, Nesty’s family migrated to Suriname when he was 7-months-old, and he started swimming at the age of 5. After representing Suriname at the 1983 Pan-American Games and 1984 Olympics, he enrolled in the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, a prep school with an athletic program known for training elite, world-class swimmers. After finishing fifth in the 100 butterfly at the 1986 World Championships, Nesty won his first international medals at the 1987 Pan-American Games, with gold in the 100 fly and bronze in the 200 fly, and then repeated his 100 butterfly victory at the 1991 Pan American Games, adding a 200 fly silver at those games. He won 100 butterfly gold medals at the 1991 World Championships, 1990 Goodwill Games, and 1989 Pan Pacific Championships. As a University of Florida student, Nesty won NCAA 100 yd butterfly titles in 1990-92, a 200 yd butterfly title in 1990, and a medley relay title in 1991.

Nesty graduated from the University of Florida in 1994 and then worked as a swimming coach. From 1994-98 Nesty was swimming coach at the Bolles School and was also coach of Swim Florida in Sarasota. From 1998-2006, he was assistant coach at the University of Florida and became associate head coach in 2006. He also coached the 2004 and 2008 Suriname Olympic teams and coached the US team at the 2011 Universiade. Nesty was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in 1998 and the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Personal Bests: 100 m butterfly – 53.00 (1988); 200 m butterfly – 2:00.17 (1988).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) SUR Anthony Nesty
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 49
100 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 21
1988 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) SUR Anthony Nesty
100 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 8
1992 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) SUR Anthony Nesty
100 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1988 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony SUR Anthony Nesty
2008 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony SUR Anthony Nesty

Special Notes