Niko Nestor was born in Struga on 10.06.1934. His education was in Ohrid and Skopje. As a very young boy he was attracted by the wonderful water springs of the river Crni Drim (Black Drim) from the beautiful lake of Ohrid.
His swimming career started early, beginning in 1945-46 at the age of 9-10 years, as a member of the Swimming Club ‘Ohridski branovi’ (Ohrid waves). After courses organised by the Macedonian Swimming Committee under the Yugoslav Swimming Organization, Niko Nestor was distinguished by his swimming potential and won races in Split as a member of the newly established Macedonian Swimming and Water polo Team.
His incredibly strong personality sought new targets. These became greater distances Lake Ohrid: St. Stefan to Ohrid, Pestani to Ohrid, St.Naum to Ohrid.
By this remarkable achievement, Niko Nestor’s dream had become a reality. He became the first man from the Eastern block countries to swam across the Channel, or as introduced by the British newspapers: “First man behind the iron curtain to succeed in swimming the Channel”. Taking into consideration that at that time the Eastern Block was approximately 1 billion people, it is easy to imagine the importance this had at this time.
After his crossing the Channel La Manche in 1959, Niko Nestor was hailed as a hero in his place of birth, Struga, where thousands of people gathered to welcome him home calling out: “ Niko, Niko !!” It was something unforgettable. Joyful and proud, they carried him on their arms to the Hotel ‘Palace’ where a press briefing had been arranged and after the President of the Republic organised the reception in his honour.