Along with a successful career as businessman and public servant, Antonio Argüelles has dedicated his life to high-performance sports and the promotion of physical activity in Mexico. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in Germanic Studies and Economics.
As a public servant, he was Undersecretary of the Secretariat of Commerce and Industrial Development, as well as the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit. He was also General Director of the National College of Technical Professional Education (CONALEP), where he initiated a deep transformation of this subsystem of higher secondary education.
Argüelles is currently General Director at the New Technological School (NET)—a project that provides high quality education at a low cost in several districts in the outskirts of Mexico City—and partner at Del Mar al Cielo, an applied research and consultancy organization that focuses on public education.
In the field of sports and physical activity, he founded the Mexican Triathlon Federation and the Queremos Mexicanos Activos foundation. Among other achievements, he holds the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, which consists of three marathon swims: the Catalina Channel, the English Channel, and the circumnavigation of Manhattan. He is the third athlete to achieve it in a single season and the first to do it twice.
Argüelles reached the peak of his sporting career in 2017, when he completed the Oceans Seven. This challenge consists of seven treacherous swims around the world: the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Catalina Channel, the Cook Strait, the Tsugaru Strait, the Molokai Channel, and the North Channel. After swimming across the latter in August 2017, Argüelles became the seventh person in the world to complete the Oceans Seven. In doing so at 58 years old—20 years above the average age of the previous six swimmers—he set a new Guinness world record: the oldest person to swim the Oceans Seven.
In 2009 Argüelles received the National Sports Award in Mexico, and in 2015 he was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and was
named Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). In 2017, after completing the Ocean’s Seven, he received this award for the second time in his career. He is co-author, along with Nora Toledano, of With Each Stroke: The Endless Blue, a book in which he narrates his experience swimming across the English Channel.