06/10/2021   Jesus Angel Garcia Bragado ends his career




When on 6 August at 9:40:03 Jesús Ángel García-Bragado, 51, crossed the finish line of his eighth Olympics in Sapporo, we immediately thought that an era was also closing with the last 50km of the Olympic Games.
He had start that morning like in Barcelona 29 years ago, and had come to the end. But this time it was probably (who knows !?) the real dot of the finish history.
Federal foresight
It was since 1992 that Jesus Angel was an anchor in the Olympic Games, also thanks to the foresight of the Real Federacion Espanola de Atletismo who had glimpsed in this stubbornness to continue, a great marketing element for future generations.
World champion in Stuttgart 1993 and second in Athens 1997, Edmonton 2001 and Berlin 2009, García Bragado has 57 appearances and 33 medals in his palmares. During his career he participated in 82 races of 50km of walking and completed 67.


Korzeniowski - Gauder - Garcia in Stoccarda 1993 (photo from a private collection)

And of these 67, no less than seven at the Olympic Games. If it were up to him, the IOC logo should have not five but seven circles, and if stomach problems and vomiting, which he had overcome many times, hadn't stopped him just over 40km in Atlanta in 1996, the circles should be eight.
The regret, the thorn in his side, is that of not being able to get on an Olympic podium, unfortunately stopping at that "wooden medal" of Beijing 2008 when he was a daring 38-year-old who stopped the clock in 3:44:08 .
When Marc Tur came into the world on 30.11.1983 (he was the first Spaniard in Sapporo), Jesus Angel already won the 50km world championship in Stuttgart 1993 (3:41:41), he collected a 4th place at the European Championships in Helsinki 1994 (3:45:25) and participated in his first Olympic in Barcelona 1992 where he finished 10th (3:58:43).
I am approaching 52 years old and I can no longer prepare for a Championship as young people do” said Chuso, adding: “I thank the Federation for giving me this opportunity to be among the three participants. I knew I had shortcomings and had to accept them; now is the time to retire”.
But inside he hoped to do better than that 35th place, without thinking that twelve athletes had arrived behind him, the oldest of whom was 13 years younger than him.
"I have been privileged and I feel an eternal responsibility to give back to sport all that it has given me" were the beautiful words with which he wanted to indicate his future project which will be to look for talents among the very young, in environments that do not are the usual, to offer them an opportunity that perhaps life has not given them.
A few days ago the Spanish Olympic Committee, Real Federacion Espanola de Atletismo and its sponsor Joma honored him in a touching ceremony in Madrid.
Happy birthday in advance dear friend.