Olegario Vàzquez Raña retires after 38-year at the lead of ISSF

68th ISSF General Assembly · Munich, GER

The longest-standing ISSF President steps back today, as the ISSF General Assembly in Munich (GER) elects its new leadership.

The longest-standing ISSF President, Olegario Vàzquez Raña (MEX), retires today, 30 November 2018, after 38-year at the lead of the International Shooting Sport Federation, as the federation elects its new leadership in Munich (Germany). 


Vàzquez Raña, an 83-year old Mexican entrepreneur, was elected for the first time in the ISSF (UIT, at that time) Council in 1978, and became the President of the Shooting world’s governing body two years later, at the General Assembly held in Mexico City in 1980. 


The Mexican was an active, successful shooter who competed in four Olympic Games (1964, 1968, 1972, 1976) and five World Shooting Championships (1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1979), setting several national, continental and world records. He served as an IOC Member from 1995 to 2015, before becoming an IOC Honorary Member in 2016. 


His leadership has truly changed shooting sport, which he modernized while preserving the traditional traits and values set into the disciplines, increasing the number of Olympic events from 7 to 15 during his time.


Under the guidance of President Vazquez Raña the sport saw the introduction of  the ISSF World Cup Series, of the ISSF Wolrd Cup Finals, of the Olympic Quota Place system, of the final matches, of electronic targets, of the internal television production ISSF TV, and of all the branding and communication activities, just to mention some of the innovations he fostered. 


His vision continued to change the sport in the last decade, with the update of the competition and final formats, and the introduction of the new Mixed Team events that guarantee gender equality in the sport in the lead up to Tokyo 2020. The program of the next Games will include 15 shooting events (6 men, 6 women, and 3 mixed gender events) for a total participation of 360 athletes.


Today, the ISSF General Assembly elected him as ISSF Honorary President by acclamation, in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the development of Shooting sport. While proposing his election to the honorary position, Olympic Champions Anbhinav Bindra and Kimberly Rhode said: "Olegario Vazquez Raña has been an Olympian, and he transported the same passion to the administration of Shooting sport. Athletes like us have been empowered and encouraged to help keeping our sport fresh, healthy and strong throughout four decades, thanks to his vision. We respect his decision to step down, but at the same time we would like retain a strong bound with him. That's why we ask the General Assembly to approve the unanimous recommendation of the Executive Committee and of the Administrative Council to elect him ISSF Honorary President."

After the election, Mr. Vázquez Raña said:

“This is the last time I am speaking with you as the ISSF President. I am happy but also a bit sad because I consider you my family. I can only say that I fulfilled my duties with integrity, and I have always supported the athletes. I am just a normal person. And I will always be a normal person. You elected me as you Honorary President. So if you invite me sometimes I will come to say hallo, but I will never interfere in the sport. Thank you!” 


In his farewell message to the ISSF family, which he anticipated during the Assembly and that will be published in full in the next ISSF News Magazine, the retiring leader said: 


“Every stage of my life has been made up of cycles and it is time to finish mine as President of the ISSF. I have said and will reiterate that it has been a privilege and an honor to have served our sport for 38 years. I will always remember these years fondly.”


“I leave with my head held high because I fulfilled all the goals I set for our Sport, thanks to the great team I’ve had: 36 members of the Administrative Council and 13 in the Executive Committee, who have all worked tirelessly, lending their unconditional support.  Some are no longer with us, but I shall never forget them and I will be forever grateful. “


“Secretary General Franz Schreiber, whom I love like a son, has known how to implement all directives with absolute professionalism and loyalty. Vice-president Gary Anderson, my fellow athlete, has dedicated his life to the development of the ISSF Rules. My great Friend Carlos Silva Monterroso, has been like a brother to me and has worked unconditionally for the future of the Shooting Sport, always supporting me.”


“There have also been difficult times,  - continued Vàzquez Raña - I always adhered to the Constitution and the Statutes of the ISSF. I am a man who admits no pressure and I had learned that nothing tempers a man like wanting to be up to the task at hand. I have always worked with passion to develop the Shooting sport I love so much and my position as a Member of the International Olympic Committee was always at the service of our sport.” 


“I am proud of what we have achieved and I acknowledge that it would not have been possible without the unconditional help of all of you,” he concluded, speaking to the Shooting sport family.


Earlier this year, at the ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea, he spoke about his life within the ISSF, during a tribute night organized for his retirement. 


“I have been in charge for 38 years, even if I was never interested in becoming part of the leadership of the federation.” He said then. 


“I was in love with the sport as an active athlete, and I was a businessman with many other obligations. But I was asked to get involved by my fellow athletes, and by our member federations. I took on the challenge and I worked to shift the focus of sport politics back to to the important issues: the rules, the competitions, the athletes.”


“I have been confirmed as the President of the ISSF mandate after mandate because I worked for the athletes, I worked for the sport. Please don’t forget that I love this sport, that  it has been part of my whole life.”


“My decision to retire was taken and communicated four years ago the 2014 ISSF General Assembly here in Munich. I have been asked to stay longer. But it’s now time for me to retire. I gave most of my life to this sport, and I want to spend more time with my family. I am leaving satisfied and happy. I feel very proud of the work I have done all these years.” 


“I hope the new leadership will continue working with the enthusiasm and love I have had for all these years.”

Marco Dalla Dea


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