Alfonso Mestre and Alberto Mestre stand in front of the Olympic rings
Alfonso (left) and Alberto Mestre will represent Venezuela for the second time at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Warrington student brothers represent at 2024 Paris Olympics

After Alberto Mestre (MBA ’25) and Alfonso Mestre (BSBA ’23, MSF ’25) compete for Venezuela in swimming this summer, they look forward to earning their business degrees from the University of Florida.

In Venezuela, the Mestre name is well-known in connection with competitive swimming. Alberto Mestre (BS ’87) represented the country twice in the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Mestre placed sixth and fifth, respectfully, in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle during the 1984 Los Angeles-based Games.

The family name is also significant at the University of Florida, where Mestre and his sons Alberto (MBA ’25) and Alfonso (BSBA ’23, MSF ’25) have all represented the Gator Nation as members of the Florida Gators swimming and diving team.


While it seems like a natural progression for the Mestre brothers to follow Alberto’s footsteps into swimming, their father made sure that his sons tried many other sports before choosing their own path.

“He encouraged me and my brother to do every single sport,” Alberto recalled. “You name it, we played it.”

Over the years, the brothers played soccer, golf, and tennis, among others, in addition to swimming. Ultimately, both Alberto and Alfonso decided that swimming would be their focus.

“Swimming was already in our DNA when we were born,” Alberto said. “But [our father] knew the sacrifice that came with swimming. It is a very solitary sport and is a year-round effort.”

Alfonso added, “There were a lot of summers where we couldn’t go on a family vacation because we had to do training camps. But I’d say it’s been worth it.”

The Mestre brothers’ years of dedication to swimming earned them spots on collegiate teams – Alberto at Stanford University (before transferring to UF) and Alfonso at the University of Florida – both receiving All-American Honors as well as SEC Championship titles.

Like their father, Alberto and Alfonso will represent Venezuela for a second Olympic Games this summer in Paris, after both swimming in the Tokyo Games in 2020. Alberto, who specializes in sprint events, will compete in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle, while Alfonso focuses on distance events and will compete in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle.

“Thank God we don’t compete in the same events,” Alberto joked. “But it’s the biggest honor [to compete at the Olympics with Alfonso]. Most people dream of being on a team with their brother or just playing the same sport. He and I have the pleasure of doing the same sport at the highest level.”

In preparation for Paris, the Mestre brothers have been putting in many hours of training in and out of the pool. That includes twice-daily pool workouts, weight room sessions, nutrition planning and time with a sports psychologist – all totaling about 40 hours a week.

“It’s a full-time job, but it’s the discipline and determination needed to perform well,” Alberto explained.


While performing well in the pool is the current focus of the Mestre brothers, both are equally dedicated to their academic success and have found their niche in business.

After earning his undergraduate degree at Stanford in economics, Alberto decided to further his education with a master’s degree in business. While originally choosing the Master of International Business, Alberto moved into the UF MBA program after deciding that it better fit his career goals. He plans to complete his Master of International Business in the future.

For Alfonso, who came to UF for his undergraduate degree, finance captivated him from the beginning. He chose to earn a combined bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in the subject from the Warrington College of Business.

Ultimately, the brothers are both interested in using their degrees to pursue roles in finance and are looking forward to exploring the subject more once they return from the Olympics.

Alfonso already got a taste of the industry while in his junior year. As part of a required internship, he worked with fellow Warrington and UF swimming alumnus Harrison Haines (BSBA ’17) at BC Partners, a private equity company.

“The MSF program has helped me so much already,” Alfonso said. “The undergrad courses prepared me well, but because of the module schedule in the MSF program, it’s a lot more intense, like the real world.”

Alberto and Alfonso are grateful for not only their business education but also the support they’ve received from the Warrington College of Business as they pursue their Olympic dreams. Because of their intense training schedule, the Mestre brothers had to ask for permission to pause their studies in the MBA and MSF programs.

“I feel supported knowing that [the MSF] is a four-year program that allows students to get both degrees, but because of my swimming schedule, Mrs. [Kelly] Herring helped me take a different route in order to get mine,” Alfonso said.

In the first year of Alberto’s MBA, he was still competing for UF and in international meets. Needing to be out of class for a week at a time, the program gave him the flexibility to continue his swimming. After approaching the staff about needing additional time for Olympic training, he was offered the same flexibility.

“[In my first year], the professors and staff were so understanding of where I was in life, clearly cared for my learning and how I could develop within the program,” Alberto said. “UF makes it work for their students and that’s something that has helped me and my swimming.”


With the 2024 Games coming up soon, the Mestre brothers are eager to land in Paris for their next shot at competing with some of the world’s best athletes.

Alfonso’s events are scheduled within the first three days of the Games on July 27 and 29, and Alberto’s events follow, scheduled for July 30 and August 1.

“I have to be on it from the start,” Alfonso said. “[When we arrive in Paris] I’ll first be focusing on recovering and making sure that I’m feeling good in and out of the water, especially eating and sleeping well. I’m in the best shape of my life, though, so I feel like I have a good shot.”

Aside from competing, the brothers are looking forward to meeting other athletes in the Olympic Village and participating in the opening ceremony, which will take athletes in boats down the Seine, passing by Paris icons like the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame.

Above all, Alberto and Alfonso both see the Paris Games as their opportunity to give it everything they have and be proud of their efforts, no matter the outcome.

“I don’t want to be sitting on a porch 20 years from now and think that I could have done something better,” Alberto said. “I am preparing myself to the best of my abilities and don’t want to have any regrets – only good memories.”

Alberto Mestre and Alfonso Mestre

Alberto Mestre (left) and Alfonso Mestre at the 2022 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

Tune in to see Alberto and Alfonso compete during the 2024 Olympic Games July 26-August 11. Check out the full swimming schedule on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games website.