Jesus Angel Garcia Is Retiring After Eight Olympic Games

Jesus Angel Garcia from Spain became the first person who competed in an athletics event in eight Olympic Games.

The 51-year-old Spaniard finished 35th in the Tokyo Olympics 50-kilometer race walk, a result that doesn’t seem very exciting, but given his age is absolutely remarkable.

With his appearance in Tokyo Olympics, he surpassed the Jamaican-Slovenian sprinter Merlene Ottey who participated in seven Olympic Games.

Only Canadian Ian Millar who has competed in equestrian in ten Olympics, the Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl and the shooters Afanasijs Kuzmins from Soviet Union/Latvia and Nino Salukvadze from the Soviet Union/Georgia with nine, have participated in more Olympics that Garcia.

“I have had the fortune to be able to go to many. I feel part of something that is historic,” said Garcia after the race.

“Eight Olympic Games are enough. I just wanted to enjoy once again at the Olympics and then retire to a quieter, more relaxed life.”

Garcia made his Olympic debut in Barcelona in 1992 finishing in 10th place. Four years later in Atlanta, he didn’t manage to finish the race because of an injury.

In Sydney in 2000, he was 12th, 5th in 2004 in Athens and in Beijing in 2008 he has his best result finishing the race at the 4th place. In 2012 in London he was 19th, one position lower in Rio in 2016 and he finished his Olympic career with the 35th place in Tokyo.

He achieved his best result in 1993 in Stuttgart when he became a World champion.

Garcia used the last year to get the coaching certification and he plans to remain in the sport that has given him an amazing journey.

“I am already training teenagers and I feel very comfortable looking for talents for this sport that has given me so much,” said Garcia.