Vancouver’s Iñaki Gómez today announced his retirement from race walk competition.
“I thank everyone for supporting me on this journey… It is my turn to cheer from the sidelines, ” said Gómez in a statement he released to Atheltics Canada earlier this week.
“On behalf of the entire Canadian athletics community I want to congratulate Iñaki on an outstanding career,” said Rob Guy, Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “His commitment, passion and leadership played an important role in Athletics Canada’s shift to consistently winning medals at the World Championships and Olympic Games.”
Guy adds, “Iñaki is a wonderful role model for his many athletic accolades and achievements, but just as importantly for participation and leadership away from the field of play. We wish him continued success and look forward to his contributions in the sport for years to come.”
Partnering with coach Gerry Dragomir, Gómez helped lead a resurgence of Canadian race walking. His international career began in 2007 with a seventh place finish in the 10,000-metre race walk at the Pan American Junior Championships.
At the University of British Columbia, Gómez won three straight NAIA 5000-metre race walk titles (2008-2010).
He took part in his first Olympic Games in 2012 (London) finishing 13th in a time of 1:20:58. The following year he placed eighth at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
In 2015, Gómez was part of a Canadian 1-2 finish in the 20km event at the Toronto Pan American Games. With silver around his neck, he was able to enjoy the sweet sound of O Canada on the medal podium alongside training partner and gold medallist, Evan Dunfee.
The following year, Gómez joined forces with Dunfee, Ben Thorne and Mathieu Bilodeau to capture the silver medal at the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, he improved on his previous Olympic finish by placing 12th in the 20km event.
Gómez retires as the reigning Canadian record holder in the 5000-metre, 10km and 20km race walk events, who also made significant contributions off the track serving as an athlete representative on Athletics Canada’s Board of Directors (since 2014).