World Masters Athletics’ Family is deeply saddened by the death of César Moreno Bravo. We were informed of the death of Cesar Moreno Bravo on 13 March, 2023 following a period of time in hospital. Details of the cause of his death are unknown but his passing will leave a huge sadness hanging over his many friends within our sport and also within World Athletics.
César, of Mexican heritage, transcended all boundaries and was a much treasured and valued man whose knowledge of most aspects of Track and Field Athletics, and especially Race Walking, were legendary – and rightly so.
He made the whole athletic world take notice when the Olympic Games were held in Mexico City in 1968, by his determination and ultimate success in having a synthetic track used for the first time in a major competition. This changed the way track event surfaces evolved in the years since and the wonderful performances we see nowadays indicate just how important his role in managing the Track and Field development for the Olympics in his home country was and will be in the future of this sport.
His involvement in Masters began when the sport was then known as Veteran Athletics. Former IAAF President, Primo Nebiolo, had sent an IAAF observer to view and report back on the way the 1991 Veterans World Championships were conducted when they were held in Turku, Finland. The report was not at all complimentary and recommended that the IAAF have no further involvement with this group. Thankfully the report was not accepted and César was requested by the President to get involved and see what could be done to improve the Veteran Athletics, in particular the apparent WAVA Council discord on future IAAF involvement.
César’s involvement since that time until his passing is a testament to his amazing ability to relate to people of all races, ages, ethnic backgrounds and levels of sporting and administrative capabilities. He was quietly spoken, considerate and always used his knowledge to tutor better decision making and to resolve problems.
As Chair of the IAAF Masters Commission, a position he held for 20 years, he acted as the ‘go-between’ for the IAAF and WMA and achieved some remarkable outcomes that were immensely beneficial to WMA. Under his leadership the Commission moved to equality of representation between IAAF/WMA, the involvement of Masters in the IAAF Annual Awards and financial assistance that allowed WMA to develop the Regional system to the benefit of all Masters Athletes.
“We mourn the loss of a wonderful man who was, without any doubt, a pillar of the global masters athletics movement. I lose a personal friend whose advice I could always rely on” said Margit Jungmann, WMA President.
Sadly César lost his wife to Covid and this had a serious impact upon him. However, he contributed and participated whenever a major event was happening, including being a member of the Jury of Appeal in Tampere, Finland WMA Stadia Championships in 2022. He is survived by his son and daughter and WMA extends our sincerest condolences to both of them. They and the whole WMA extended Athletics family have lost a great friend – we will miss him terribly.
Stanley Perkins, WMA Honorary Life President