Claudia Ruiz, FINA Press Correspondent in Mexico

Mexico’s most medalled athlete in the Olympics, diver Joaquin Capilla died on May 8, 2010 in Mexico City, at the age of 81. Capilla, an inspiring idol for the divers and all sportsmen in the country, has been gold medallist in the 10m platform at the 1956 Games in Melbourne (AUS), silver medallist in the same event in 1952 (Helsinki, FIN), and bronze medallist twice (1948, London, 10m platform; 1956, Melbourne, 3m springboard).After this unparalleled successes in Mexico’s sports history, Capilla, born on December 23, 1928 became very popular in his country and was even invited to participate in some movies.   

A pioneer in the success of diving for Mexico in international competition, Capilla received on November 20, 2009 the National Sports Award from Mexican President Felipe Calderon, as a recognition of his extraordinary career.

Jesus Mena, Chairman of the FINA Technical Diving Committee and bronze medallist for his country at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, considered that the loss of Capilla “closed one glorious page in the history of diving in Mexico”.

The President of the Mexican Olympic Committee, Olympic swimming champion in 1968 Felipe Munoz, considered: “He was a person that inspired many of us and was the one that started the successful Mexican tradition in diving”.

Joaquin Capilla (MEX)