Jesus Angel Garcia will be the official ambassador for the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Muscat 22, where some 350 athletes from 46 countries will compete on 4-5 March.
The legendary Spanish athlete is one of the most prolific competitors in international race walking events. He made a record 13 appearances at the World Race Walking Team Championships, winning in 1997, as well as a record 13 appearances at the World Athletics Championships, winning the 50km title in 1993.
Last year he made history when making a record eighth appearance at an Olympic Games. 29 years after his Olympic debut in 1992, when he finished 10th, Garcia placed 35th over 50km in Sapporo at the age of 51.
He hung up his race-walking shoes at the end of last year, but is looking forward to being a part of this year’s World Race Walking Team Championships in his role as ambassador.
“Race walking is my whole life, because it has allowed me to dedicate myself to my passion for many years, to build a family and to meet wonderful people, as well as to travel to beautiful places that I would have been unlikely to visit if I had not chosen this discipline,” said Garcia, who placed ninth at the 2019 World Championships, just three weeks shy of his 50th birthday.
“The fact that I can go to Oman as a representative of the athletes, the race walkers, is a great source of pride for me,” he added. “I feel a great responsibility to give back to race walking what it has given to me and to contribute to making this event known in more countries. I am proud to bring my experience to strengthen the place of the 35km race walk in this new sporting stage that starts with the World Athletics Team Championships Muscat 22 and continues with the individual events at the World athletics Championships in Oregon.”
Garcia will be in attendance not just for the competition sessions in Muscat, but also for several World Athletics Sustainability initiatives that will be held in conjunction withthe event, including a beach clean-up and tree-planting. Race walking is one of the world’s most sustainable sports disciplines, requiring no special equipment or external energy to participate.