(ATR) Along with the 52nd anniversary of the historic first Olympic Games in Latin America that it hosted, Mexico also commemorated on October 12 the 45th anniversary of the VII Pan American Games.
Olegario Vázquez Raña with Lanny Bassham and Carl Guenther (COM)
Mexico managed to save the continuity of the continental mega-event whose celebration was in danger after the withdrawal of the original host city of Santiago, Chile.
A transcendent award for the Mexican effort occurred one day after the inauguration of the hemispheric event, which became the third largest event held in the capital of Mexico in seven years, after the 1968 Olympics and the 1970 Soccer World Cup. It was the second time, that the city had organized a Pan American Games after the 1955 edition.
On October 13, 1975, the shooter Olegario Vázquez Raña, in addition to getting the gold medal on the first day of competition, set a world record in the air rifle with 393 points to overcome the Americans Lanny Bassham (384) and Carl Guenther (380).
Vázquez Raña thus surpassed his 1973 world record (392 points) during the Championship of the Americas in the Federal District.
On the same first day of action at the Pan-American range, the Mexican rifleman contributed to his team's bronze medal along with Gerardo Valencia (12th place), Jesús Elizondo (21) and Julio García (24).
On October 14, Vázquez Raña would lead the local team completed by Elizondo, Rosario Alvarez and Ernesto Montemayor for his third medal, this silver in the English Match with 2362 points behind the USA (2374) and above Brazil (2361).
Joao Carlos de Oliveira (Wikipedia)
The second world record of the Pan American Games was registered on October 15 with the spectacular jump of the Brazilian Joao Carlos de Oliveira in the triple jump with 17.89 meters. which remained unmatched until 1985. To this day, it still ranks in the top 20 of all time in that event.
De Oliveira also won the gold medal in the long jump at Mexico-75. He died at age 45, 10 years after losing a leg in an accident.
The first Pan American Games medal for Vázquez Raña, currently the Honorary Lifetime President of the Mexican Olympic Committee, was won in his debut in Sao Paulo 1963 as a member of the second-place team in the English Match with Raúl Arredondo, Paulino Diaz and José Sáenz.
At the 1967 Winnipeg Games he achieved three bronze medals, two for teams and one for the individual English Match event.
The record shooter would be distinguished with the National Sports Award of Mexico -1975.
As an athlete, Olegario competed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968, Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976.
Vázquez Raña anticipates that he will relate more anecdotes of these and other Games and of his sports and Olympic career in the book that he has finished writing after these seven months away from the office. Due to the critical epidemiological situation, he has been obliged to remotely monitor the progress of his companies and the Mexican Olympic movement.
In these circumstances, he maintains his usual contact with the president of the COM, Carlos Padilla, in the analysis of the situations that due to the global pandemic face in their preparation the almost 150 Mexican athletes who could integrate the national delegation to the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo.
2020 also marked 40 years of his election as president of the International Federation of Sport Shooting - of which he is honorary president for life since 2018 - and 25 years of his election as a member of the IOC, of which he is today an honorary member and its representative. in the Mexican nation.
Several medalists from the 1975 Pan American Games were proclaimed champions the following year at the Montreal Olympic Games, such as the Mexican marcher Daniel Bautista, and boxers from the class of Cubans Teófilo Stevenson and Jorge Hernández and Americans Ray Leonard and Leon Spinks,the Cuban runner Alberto Juantorena, among others.
Written by Miguel Hernandez
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