17 Famous Swimming Players in Angola of All Time

Marjan Sokolovski

Angola is a country with a strong swimming tradition and is home to some of the world’s best swimmers.

Angola has a number of internationally recognized swimming stars, including Joaquim Cruz, who won the Olympic gold medal in the 800m freestyle in 1984, and Vitor Borba, who won the gold medal in the 200m butterfly at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Other notable swimmers from Angola include Afonso Pinto, who won the silver medal in the 200m freestyle at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and Emilia de Pina, who was the first African woman to win a gold medal in swimming when she won the 200m breaststroke at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

These swimmers have made Angola a powerhouse in the international swimming world and the country’s swimmers are regularly among the top finishers at major international competitions..

1. Ana Sofia Nóbrega

Ana Sofia Nóbrega is an accomplished swimmer hailing from both Portugal and Angola. She recently competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in the women’s 100-metre freestyle event.

While she did not advance to the semifinals, she did rank 40th with a time of 59.23 seconds, a remarkable achievement. Her success in the pool is further highlighted by her participation in the 2015 African Games.

Nóbrega is a true example of determination and dedication, proving that with hard work and passion, success is achievable..

2. Nádia Cruz

Nádia Vanda Sousa Eloy Cruz is an Angolan former competitive swimmer. She specialized in the breaststroke events, competing in them throughout her career. She was a four-time Olympian, representing Angola in the Olympic Games from 1988 through 2000.

After retiring from competitive swimming, Cruz became the chairman of the Angolan Olympic Athletes Association in 2010. Cruz began her swimming career in 1988 when she represented Angola in the Seoul Olympic Games.

In the following years she competed in Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, and Sydney 2000.

She was able to make a name for herself in the Angolan swimming community, as she was the first Angolan swimmer to compete in four Olympic Games. Cruz retired from professional swimming in 2000, but her influence on the Angolan swimming community did not end there.

In 2010, she was appointed as the chairman of the Angolan Olympic Athletes Association.

In this role, she works to promote Olympic sports in Angola and to provide support for Angolan athletes competing in the Olympic Games. Cruz is an inspiration to many Angolan swimmers, having made history by becoming the first Angolan swimmer to represent her country in four Olympic Games.

She is an example of determination and hard work, and her commitment to the Angolan swimming community is commendable.

3. Pedro Lima

Pedro Manuel Barata de Macedo Lima was a remarkable figure, possessing a wide variety of talents. He was a Portuguese-Angolan actor, born in Angola but later moved to Portugal, where he appeared in many telenovelas.

His performances were widely acclaimed, garnering him a lot of respect and admiration. Aside from his acting career, Pedro was also an Olympic swimmer. He competed in several events, representing Angola as a proud member of their national team.

His skill and determination in the pool earned him a great deal of recognition and respect. His Olympic career ended in 1984 when he chose to dedicate himself to his acting career. In sum, Pedro Manuel Barata de Macedo Lima was a highly accomplished individual.

He was a talented actor, appearing in many acclaimed telenovelas in Portugal. He also displayed immense talent in the pool, competing in the Olympics and proudly representing Angola. This is a testament to his drive and ambition, as well as his immense skill and commitment.

4. Vivaldo Fernandes

Vivaldo Fernandes is an Angolan swimmer who has made a big splash in the world of competitive swimming. He represented his home country of Angola in the men’s 100-metre breaststroke at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

This was a remarkable achievement for Fernandes, considering the fact that he had only been swimming competitively for a few years prior to the Olympics.

He had to train hard and compete against some of the best swimmers in the world in order to qualify for the Olympic Games. At the Olympics, Fernandes put on a great show, reaching the semi-finals of the men’s 100-metre breaststroke.

Though he ultimately failed to progress to the finals, he put in an admirable performance that earned him the respect of his peers and the admiration of his countrymen. Fernandes’ success at the Olympics has been credited with inspiring a new generation of Angolan swimmers, many of whom have gone on to become world-class swimmers in their own right.

His legacy lives on in the swimming pools of Angola, and his example serves as motivation to aspiring young swimmers around the world.

5. Carla Fernandes

Carla Fernandes is an Angolan swimmer who achieved success at the 1988 Summer Olympics. She competed in two events, showcasing her exceptional talent and determination. Fernandes had to be dedicated to her sport in order to make it to the Olympics, and her hard work paid off.

As an Angolan swimmer, she was able to represent her country with pride, and her participation in the Olympics was a great accomplishment. She was likely an inspiration to many, showing that with dedication and hard work, anything is possible.

Her success at the Olympics helped to set the bar for future athletes from Angola, and she is certainly an example of what can be achieved with ambition and dedication.

6. Jorge Lima

Jorge Lima is an Angolan swimmer who made history by competing in the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. At only 13 years old, he was the youngest athlete to ever compete in the Olympic Games.

He took part in four events: the 100 m freestyle, 200 m freestyle, 100 m backstroke, and the 4 x 100 m medley relay.

His participation in the Olympics was an extraordinary feat, as it showed his determination and passion for swimming. Lima’s accomplishments at the 1980 Olympics demonstrate his impressive swimming skills and tenacity to compete against swimmers who were much older than him.

He was able to hold his own and compete at a high level, despite the age difference.

His determination and dedication to the sport is an inspiration to all athletes, regardless of age. Lima’s incredible performance at the 1980 Olympics is a reminder of the power of dedication and hard work.

He was able to overcome any obstacles and perform at an elite level at such a young age. His story of success serves as an example of how anyone can achieve their goals if they are willing to work hard and believe in themselves.

7. Catarina Sousa

Catarina Sousa is an impressive Angolan swimmer who has had success in international competitions. In 2017 she competed in the women’s 50 metre backstroke event at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.

This prestigious event allowed her to take her swimming career to the next level. Two years later, she represented Angola in the 2019 African Games held in Rabat, Morocco. This event tested her strength and determination as she competed in multiple events.

Most recently, Catarina Sousa competed in the women’s 100m freestyle event at the 2020 Summer Olympics. This was an incredible achievement for her, as it allowed her to show the world the potential of Angolan swimmers.

Not only did she demonstrate her skill in the pool, but she also showed her dedication and commitment to the sport. Catarina Sousa continues to be a great source of motivation for aspiring swimmers in Angola, and her achievements are sure to inspire many more.

8. Michele Pessoa

Michele Pessoa is a historical figure in Angolan sports. She is remembered for being the first woman to ever represent Angola at the Olympic Games.

Pessoa was a swimmer who competed in two events at the 1980 Summer Olympics, making her the first woman to do so from the African nation.

Her participation marked a major milestone in the history of Angola, as it showed that the country was taking strides in breaking down barriers and embracing female athletes.

Pessoa’s presence at the Olympics was an inspiring one, and a defining moment for women’s sports in Angola. She is remembered for her bravery and resilience, and for paving the way for future female athletes to compete in the Olympics.

9. Elsa Freire

Elsa Freire is an Angolan athlete who specializes in swimming. She has represented her country on the world stage at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

At the 1988 Olympics, Freire competed in the Women’s 100-meter freestyle event, finishing in 54th place. At the 1992 Olympics, she competed in the Women’s 200-meter freestyle event, where she placed 29th.

Freire is an impressive athlete, as she has been able to compete at the Olympics on two separate occasions. Her performance is a testament to her dedication and hard work for her country.

Freire is an inspiration, showing that anything is possible with enough determination and effort.

10. Salvador Gordo

Salvador Vieira Gordo is an Angolan swimmer who recently competed for his country in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Representing Angola in the men’s 100m butterfly event, he achieved a respectable 54th place overall with a time of 55.96 in his heat.

His performance has been noticed and admired by many, and as a result, he has been accepted to swim at the University of Tampa in the United States. This is a great opportunity for Salvador, as it will give him the chance to hone his skills and further develop as a swimmer.

He will be able to take part in high-level competitions and benefit from the coaching offered by the university. It is clear that Salvador Vieira Gordo has a bright future ahead of him, and his achievements so far have proven that he is a talented athlete.

11. Francisco Santos

Francisco José Ribeiro Lopes dos Santos, commonly known as Francisco Santos, is a multi-talented artist with roots in Angola and Portugal. He has achieved success in a wide range of fields and is known by different names in each industry.

As a competitive swimmer, Francisco is known as Francisco Lopes Santos. In the visual arts, he is known as Xesko. And in the field of poetry, he goes by the name Elias Karipande.

Francisco’s diverse talents have enabled him to make a name for himself in multiple industries, and his accomplishments prove that he is a true multi-talented artist.

12. Luis Matias

Luis Matias is an Angolan swimmer who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics in the Men’s 100-metre butterfly event. He made it through the heat stages, winning Heat 1 with a time of 58.92.

Despite his strong performance in the heat stage, Matias did not make it past the qualifying round, ultimately finishing in 58th place out of 60 spots, and missing the opportunity to advance.

This result was a disappointment for Matias, as he was unable to qualify for the next round of the competition. Despite this setback, his performance in the heat stage showed that he had the potential to do well in international competitions.

13. Ana Crysna da Silva Romero

Ana Crysna da Silva Romero is an Angolan swimmer who is specialized in sprint freestyle events. She is a talented swimmer who was chosen to represent Angola at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Her impressive performance put her among the top 70 swimmers in the 50 m freestyle.

This is a remarkable achievement for Romero and for Angola, demonstrating that even athletes from small countries can compete at the highest levels of the sport.

She has also competed in other international competitions, such as the African Swimming Championships, where she has earned impressive results. Romero is a passionate and talented swimmer who has made a name for herself in the world of competitive swimming.

14. Fernando Lopes

Fernando Lopes was a remarkable Angolan swimmer who made history when he competed in the men’s 4 × 100 meter medley relay at the 1980 Summer Olympics. At the time, he was just 15 years old, making him the youngest athlete in the entire Angolan delegation.

This was an incredible accomplishment for such a young man, and it would have no doubt inspired many other young athletes in the country. Tragically, Fernando Lopes passed away in October 2020 at the age of 55.

His legacy as a great athlete and an inspirational figure will live on for years to come. He was a source of pride for his nation and an example of what can be achieved when one puts their mind to it.

His achievements in the pool will surely be remembered for many years to come.

15. Marcos Daniel

Marcos Daniel is an Angolan swimmer who achieved success on the international stage. He was the first Angolan athlete to compete in the Olympics, taking part in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.

In the Moscow Olympics, Marcos Daniel swam in two events, the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle. Despite not winning any medals, his participation in the Olympics was a major milestone for Angola.

His performance in the Olympics marked a turning point for the country, which had just gone through a long period of civil war.

In the years that followed the Olympics, Angola experienced a period of economic and social recovery, with sports playing an important role in its revival.

Marcos Daniel’s achievements in the Olympics were a symbol of hope for many Angolans and helped inspire future generations of athletes from his country.

16. João Aguiar

João Carlos da Silva Paquete Aguiar is a talented Angolan swimmer who specializes in sprint freestyle events. At only 17 years old, he represented Angola at the 2000 Summer Olympics, where he made a lasting impression.

In addition to his Olympic performance, João Carlos has also been a champion of Angolan swimming, holding numerous titles and record-breaking times in the 50 m freestyle.

He currently swims for August 1 Swimming Club in Luanda, where he continues to break records and challenge himself to be the best swimmer he can be. João Carlos is a true symbol of grace and determination, and his story will continue to inspire other swimmers for years to come.

17. Pedro Miguel Pinotes

Pedro Miguel Pinotes is an Angolan swimmer who specializes in the Men’s 400m individual medley. He competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics, in which he finished 30th in the heats. Unfortunately, he was unable to progress further and reach the semi-final stage of the competition.

Pinotes is a dedicated swimmer and has worked hard to reach the Olympic level. He has trained extensively for the 400m individual medley, focusing on strength, speed and endurance to be able to compete on such a high level.

Although he was not able to reach the semi-final, his hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. He is an inspiration to all aspiring swimmers who strive to reach the Olympic level.

The Olympic level of competition is incredibly challenging, with only the best swimmers from around the world competing. To be able to reach the heats of the Men’s 400m individual medley is an incredible achievement in itself.

Pinotes should be proud of his accomplishment and we should all be inspired by his dedication to the sport.


Angola has some of the best swimming players in the world. These swimmers have achieved great success in the sport and have made a name for themselves both in Angola and in the international swimming community.

They have set numerous records and have earned numerous medals in international competitions. Angola has a proud history of producing world-class swimmers that are capable of competing at the highest levels of the sport.

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Marjan Sokolovski

I am a professional swimming coach who has been coaching for over 20 years. I have coached athletes in the Olympics and Paralympics, and I have also helped to train people across the world. I started my coaching career by teaching swimming lessons at a local pool. I was really passionate about teaching people how to swim, but I quickly realized that this wasn't enough for me. I wanted to make a difference in people's lives and help them achieve their goals. I started working with athletes in high school, college, and then professionally. The best part about coaching is that you get the opportunity to work with so many different types of people from all walks of life - it's just incredible! LinkedIn