Nesty swims to an epic Gold Win in Seoul 1988 | The Olympics On The Record

Nesty swims to an epic Gold Win in Seoul 1988 | The Olympics On The Record

American swimmer Matt Biondi was in his prime at
the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. He had won Olympic gold in the
relay four years earlier in Los Angeles,
while he was still a teenager. Now 22, he was the best
swimmer in the world, ready to take centre stage. From the USA, Matt Biondi. Such was Biondi’s dominance
at the time that the ten fastest
100m freestyle times were all set by…Matt Biondi. Seoul was his opportunity,
and he did not disappoint. Biondi won gold
in the 100m freestyle, three golds in the relay,
and set a new world record winning the 50m freestyle. He was the king of the pool, the Californian Condor. Yet, for one small corner
of South America, Biondi was more of a bit-part player – a
supporting actor, if you will – in what became a nation’s
greatest sporting moment. With a population
of half a million, Suriname, a former Dutch colony, is the smallest nation
in South America. There it is, just above Brazil. Suriname’s Olympic record
was modest. Very modest. To be completely
straight with you, they had no record
at the Olympic Games. Gold – none. Medals – none. Let’s face it – the odds
were not in their favour. At the 1988 Games, the United States sent
527 athletes. Suriname sent six. But you need to be in it
to win it, and there was some hope that, at the very least,
their swim team – a team of precisely
one athlete – would do the country proud. Anthony Conrad Nesty, born in Trinidad
and brought up in Suriname, was competing
in his second Olympic Games. He swam at Los Angeles 1984, finishing 20th in
the 100-metre butterfly, a result that earned him a college scholarship
to the United States. Four years later, Nesty, 21, made it all the way
to the Olympic final. Reaching the last eight
was a big deal for Nesty, and a huge news story
back home in Suriname. But this was going to be tough. In lane three, the 1987
Pan American Games champion, from Suriname, Anthony Nesty. Nesty was not a great height
for an Olympic swimmer, looking up at his rivals
in his preferred event. The line up was awesome. Andy Jameson of Great Britain,
fastest in qualifying, hadn’t lost a 100m butterfly
race for two years. Michael Gross of West Germany – the Albatross –
was the reigning the Olympic champion,
out to defend his title. And then there was
the all-conquering Biondi. As they completed
the first lap, Biondi was well in the lead. Just two lengths, and one turn. And by now,
Biondi was crushing it. A big finish was required,
and that’s what it got. Now, watch Biondi. Watch his reaction. “What the heck just happened?” Jameson bronze, Biondi silver and Anthony Nesty of Suriname
gold? By one hundredth of a second? It was such a surprise that even Nesty
wasn’t sure what to do. On first sight, it looked like
the American had won. But coming to the end,
Biondi had mistimed his stroke. He had decided to glide in.
It was a huge mistake. Nesty timed his finish
perfectly, the golden touch by
one hundredth of a second. Biondi won every race
he took part in for the rest of the Games, winning five gold medals. But that day belonged to Nesty, and to Suriname. The gold medallist
and Olympic champion, representing Suriname,
Anthony Nesty. The first black male to win
a gold medal in the pool, he became a massive hero
in his home country. Suriname went Nesty crazy. Nesty stamps. Nesty coins. There was even
a Nesty aeroplane. That’s, like, so over the top. Yeah, tell me about it. The Suriname legend had more than a fleeting moment
in the limelight. It was a well-deserved
golden era of Nesty.


  1. Why do you use the Chinese song at the front of this video? Seoul Olympic was held in South Korea. How ridiculous IOC don't know Asian culture and don't check their works.

  2. In America, we don't get shocked or excited about winning…

    Because we're used to it!

    But then again, I don't know how I'd feel if I lived in a small economy like Suriname. I'd probably lose my head for the best. Just saying.

  3. Actually, Biondi also lost the 200 free to an Australian swimmer, Michael Duncan if I am not mistaken. Still a terrific performance by Biondi despite the couple of silvers.

  4. Le me put a little perspective on WHY my country went totally crazy over this win: 8 years prior to Nesty winning the gold medal we had a miltary coup..2 years after that 15 people who went against the military dictatorship were brutally murdered. There were several attempts by other groups to take over the control of my country. It had been a very tense political climate. In 1987 elections were finally held, but everyone knew that the leader of the 1980 coup could take back the country if he wanted to, so the tense situation persisted…. and the Anthony Nesty went to the Olympics and won the gold medal…. Can you imagine the release of tension -if only for a little while – in a small country that has been through a lot of pain in 8 years..?

  5. This channel should also produce a clip of Singapore Joseph Schooling (Swimming) too. He won Singapore first ever gold medal in Olympic record in the Rio Olympics. He should be also remembered for denying the Great Michael Phelps of a perfect clean sweep of 6 Olympic gold medals.

  6. Looking at how they treated Nesty back in his home country is basically how Singapore treats Joseph Schooling LMAO

  7. Not american,black hero won!!!Dont simply owning the pride, that black people's talent…America actually is nothing,as i know it is the real poor country,not rich with any kind of nature sources…

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