Antonio Argüelles

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"We all have one ‘channel’ to cross: be it the English Channel, thirty minutes of daily exercise, or just not quitting school." – Antonio Argüelles.

Antonio Argüelles swimming.
Antonio Argüelles (born in Mexico City on 15 April 1959) is a 1982 graduate in Germanic Studies and Economics from Stanford University. A successful Mexican businessman, he has worked mostly on governmental affairs, including informatics, education, and commerce. He has dedicated most of his life to promote sports and an active lifestyle among the Mexican population, especially after the rise of obesity statistics. He holds several records, such as being the seventh person in the world to complete the Triple Crown of open water swimming, and being the third person in the world to do so in just one season, and the first person to do it twice. He is now planning to expand his sports activity from open water swimming to mountain climbing; being the Everest his next grand project. He is also a member of the famous Half Century Club


Early Life:

Antonio was born in México City, on April 15th of 1959. His passion for swimming was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos, where his grandfather had a cold-water pool. However, he discovered he wanted to reach competitive standards in 1968, the year of the Olympics in México City; from that point since, competing in the Olympics became his dream. Argüelles’s parents enrolled him in the local YMCA, and he managed to secure a place in Mexico’s National Swimming Team, in the 400 and 1500 freestyle category.

Through his coach, he met Bill Lee, the president of Speedo at that time. In 1976, Argüelles moved in with Lee, to California, in pursuit of his dream. Argüelles got enrolled in the prestigious Stanford University. He soon realized that he wasn’t made for the exigency of the Olympics, and quit the team. However, he took up running and, later, triathlon.

Life as a Businessman:

Argüelles has worked mostly in the Public sector. He was General Director of Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional (CONALEP) from 1994 to 2000, and Undersecretary of both Ministry of Trade (Secretaría de Comercio y Fomento Industrial) from 1989 to 1993, and Ministry of Finance (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público). He’s been a guest lecturer at Colegio de México (COLMEX) and Universidad Anahuac.

Antonio Argüelles co-wrote several books dealing with public administration and Technological Education, among which one can find:

- Competencia Laboral y educación basada en normas de competencia

- La educación tecnológica en el mundo

- Hacia la reingeniería educativa: el caso Conalep

Currently, he is CEO of Nueva Escuela Tecnológica (NET, New Technological School), a project that brings low-cost, quality education in several districts of Mexico City.

Triathlon, open water, and other sports activities:

Antonio Argüelles at a conference.

In 1989, Argüelles founded the Mexican Triathlon Federation, of which he is honorary president since 1995. This Federation was conceived as an organ that should be have high quality standards, and that it should respond to its intended audience in a quick and precise manner. As a complement to the Triathlon Federation, he founded MAAD Sports (currently AsDeporte) to encourage the organization of sports events that would allow professional sportsmen to have a source of income. Internationally, Antonio Argüelles was a key piece in the development of Pan-American sport, and in the consideration of triathlon as an Olympic discipline.

He helped promote the first races and cycling events in government institutions, where employees of certain institutions would compete for health, fun, and small prices. He also established de ‘Day of going to work without car’ (Día de trabajo sin coche’). Because of this, he was awarded the Golden Shoe Award by Runners World magazine, in March 1993. During 2008 and 2009, and motivated by the Triple Crown Project, he committed himself to boost and active lifestyle in the Mexican population; for this, he frequently gives motivational speeches where he uses his experience in sports as a way to promote physical activity.

He has participated in several swimming, racing and triathlon events, among which one can find:

• 8 Marathons
• 3 Half Ironman
• 5 Ironman

Open water swimming:

1. Manhattan Island, 1997 (7:56:16) (1)
2. Catalina Island, Los Angeles 1999 (12: 25:43) (1)
3. Swim Around Key West, 1999 (4:34:05)
4. English Channel, 1999 (18:19:00) (1)
5. Catalina Island, Los Angeles, 2008 (13:10:25) (1)
6. Manhattan Island, 2009 (8:21:11) (2)
7. Catalina Island, California 2009 (10:25:12) (2) (*)
8. English Channel, 2009 (12:54) (2)

(1) Part of the Triple Crown challenge, completed by Argüelles in 1999, being the sixth person in the world to do so.

(2) Part of the Triple Crown challenge, where he became the third person in the world to complete it in one season.

On November 20, 2009, he received the Premio Nacional del Deporte, in the category of Sports’ Promotion, Encouragment, and Development.

He will also participate in an 88-mile (141.6 km) charity swim and relay across the Sea of Cortez in Mexico together with Richard Ernst, Susan Moody, Mauricio Prieto, Vito Bialla and Luane Rowe on 1 June 2014.

At Each Stroke: Endless Blue

At Each Stroke: The Endless Blue.

He, with Nora Toledano, co-wrote the book: "A cada brazada: el azul interminable" (“At Each Stroke: The Endless Blue") in which he retells his experience of crossing the English Channel.

The Spanish-language book colorfully describes Toledano and Argüelles' numerous open water swimming challenges around the world and what they experienced. In their colorful prose, they equate their channel swimming experiences to a survival in the sea of life.


This work retells, in the words of Nora and Antonio, the amazing experience of completing one of the most difficult sports challenges, compared to climbing the Everest: swimming the English Channel. There, they had to battle nature, because of the terrible climate, which seems to intentionally oppose the swimmer. But, more than fulfilling their dream, both authors explain their motivation, and how a sports challenge morphed into a metaphor of surviving in the sea of life.


- Introduction - Double crossing of the English Channel (by Nora Toledano) *First part: England to France * Second part: France to England - The magic of the Channel - Fausta Marín: when you have a dream it’s difficult to give up - Crossing of English Channel (by Antonio Argüelles) * First Part * Second Part - Afterword. - Epilogue. - Preparation and some anecdotes - Important Data - Glossary - Bibliography


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