Mikel, the first Aruban with three Olympic qualifications

May 14, 2024

Mikèl Schreuders has made history for Aruba by becoming the first athlete from his country to qualify for three Olympic Games, and this feat was achieved in 2023 when he confirmed the best time of his sporting career, a mark that granted him classification for Paris 2024 in the swimming with an “A” mark in the 50 meter freestyle, a result he obtained in the U.S. OPEN Toyota 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States.

Schreuders set a time in the A final of 21.93 seconds, this time being the seal that granted him his golden ticket to Paris 2024 this coming summer. For the Aruban triton, 2023 was an extremely successful year, especially in one of the oldest events of the Olympic cycle in the sports movement, such as the Central American and Caribbean Games, San Salvador 2023.

In the games held in El Salvador, Mikèl won four (4) medals: one (1) gold and three (3) silver, which motivated him to dream of a new qualification for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, and from this way to continue proudly exalting the colors of their country in the largest sporting event in the world and the one most desired by all athletes.

To achieve his gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games, San Salvador 2023, Mikèl competed until the end with the Mexican Miguel de Lara, who established a new swimming Games record in the 50-meter breaststroke, with time of 27.51 seconds, breaking the previous mark of these regional competitions which was held by Panamanian Edgar Crespo with a time of 27.56 seconds achieved at the 2018 Barranquilla Games.

Mikèl Schreuders de Aruba and Miguel de Lara de México, champions of the 50 meter breaststroke of the Central American and Caribbean Games, San Salvador 2023, and owners of the new record of the regional event. (Credit: Centro Caribe Sports)
Mikèl Schreuders de Aruba and Miguel de Lara de México, champions of the 50 meter breaststroke of the Central American and Caribbean Games, San Salvador 2023, and owners of the new record of the regional event. (Credit: Centro Caribe Sports)

The Aruban Olympic swimmer did not stop at that event, but climbed onto the podium three more times to give his country three new silver medals in the swimming events. 50 meter butterfly (23.90), 50 meter freestyle (22.43) and 100m freestyle (49.17), events that were conquered by the swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago, who established the new Games records in these events.


Mikèl’s Olympic footprints began with his participation in the 4th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships 2013 in the United Arab Emirates at just 14 years old and from then on he continued participating in different FINA events and his first Olympic participation was in Rio 2016 at the age of 17. In this first experience as an Olympic athlete in swimming, he placed sixth in the first heat in the 200 meter freestyle, achieving a time of 1:55.10, which placed him in 45th place in the general table.

Born in Oranjestad, northeast of Aruba, he began his first strokes in swimming when he was seven years old at a school in Noord where he lived, and from that moment on his love and passion for water began, which has led him to the sport of high competitive level.

“When I started swimming, I signed up for a swimming team after my first class at school (in Noord) and when the coaches saw me, they noticed my level above the other children at that time,” said the inspired Aruban swimmer. to Centro Caribe Sports.

Flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that were held in 2021, Mikèl once again made an entire island proud, small within the giant Caribbean Sea, but with every desire to represent Aruba at the most important sporting event. largest and most important in the world, occupying the 31st position in the 100m freestyle, and 33rd place in the 200m freestyle.

Mikèl, with this new Olympic classification in 2023, makes history again in Aruba by breaking a tie between nine athletes from the country who participated in two editions of the Olympic Games.

Lia MelisAthletics1988 and 1992
Lucien DirkszCycling (route)1992 and 1996
Flag Bearer Opening Ceremony 1992
Junior FaroWeightlifting1996 and 2004
Flag Bearer Opening Ceremony 1996
Davy BisslikSwimming2000 and 2004
Roshendra VrolijkSwimming2000 and 2004
Jayme MataJudo2012 and 2016
Flag Bearer Opening Ceremony 2012
Daniella van den BergSwimming2012 and 2014*
*Summer Youth Olympic Games
Nicole van der VeldenSail2010* and 2016
*Summer Youth Olympic Games
Flag Bearer Opening Ceremony 2016
Allyson PonsonSwimming2016 and 2020
Flag Bearer Opening Ceremony 2020


Mikèl is currently at a preparation base in Antalya, a city in Turkey, training outdoors for two weeks, to then compete in several championships and carry out a training camp in Mulhouse, France, which is carried out by Panam Sports prior to to the long-awaited event in Paris 2024, and in this way, finish their competitive preparation in optimal conditions to face their third Olympic Games.

He is one of the three (3) athletes classified by Aruba for the Paris 2024 Olympic event to date, and hopes to have a better result than in previous editions of the most important sporting event every four years.

Swimming is scheduled at the next Olympic Games from July 27 to August 4, where the men’s 100 meter freestyle event is scheduled for July 30 at 11:00 a.m., French time with the qualifiers and the men’s 50 meter freestyle event will take place on August 1, starting the programming with the qualifiers starting at 11:00 in the morning, French time.


To date, three (3) Aruban athletes have qualified directly for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, these being Ethan Westera in Sailing (windsurfing), Just van Aanholt in Sailing (ILCA 7) and Mikèl Schreuders in swimming.

The Games are scheduled to open on July 26 and close on August 11.

Written by Noel Welerman


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