As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics come to a close, former and current Gator swimmers return after impressing the world with their performances. Also returning is Gators men’s and women’s swimming coach Anthony Nesty, who was an assistant coach for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. He spoke to Steve Russell on his “Sportscene” radio show recently to talk about his time in Tokyo with the Olympic swimmers.
Nesty in the Olympics
Coach Nesty and the Olympics have a vast history that can be traced back to his own time as a swimmer. His most recent addition to his Olympic career came this year, when he joined the United States Olympics Swim Team as an assistant coach for the Tokyo 2020 games. Overall, Nesty enjoyed his time at the games for many reasons. However, his time as a former Olympian combined with getting to coach his own swimmers highlighted this year’s games.
“The experience for me was a good one because now I’m on the other side,” Nesty said. “Obviously, I was a swimmer at the Olympics. I’ve been to several Olympics as a coach, but being there with your own athletes that you’ve coached throughout college, going to the Olympics and swimming well and getting to represent the United States is a great achievement. I’m very blessed.”
Nesty-coached swimmers brought home three total medals from Tokyo. Bobby Finke won the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle and another gold medal in the 1500-meter freestyle. Additionally, Kieran Smith brings home a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle.
Reminiscing on his swimmers’ performances, Nesty was proud of how well Smith and Finke swam during their medal-clinching performances.
As far as Nesty’s personal history with the Olympics goes, he has been extremely successful every step of the way. In the 1988 games, he took home the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly while representing Suriname. Four years later, he took home the bronze medal in the same event. His Olympic coaching career began at the 2008 games, where he was the head coach for the Suriname Olympic Team. He returned to the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the same role.
Gator Swimmers at the Olympics
Overall, Gator swimmers impressed the world with their performances in Tokyo. Headlining the group of Gators is former Gator Caeleb Dressel, who won five total gold medals in the games. On the women’s side, former Gator Natalie Hinds earned a bronze medal in the 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay. Along with this, Finke’s two gold medals and Smith’s bronze brings the count to nine total medals by Gator swimmers.