Ricardo Ibarra 1950-2011
Ricardo Daniel Ibarra, one of the greatest athletes in the history of Argentinian rowing, passed away on 15 December 2011 at the age of 61.
He was a three-time Pan American champion (Mexico 1975, San Juan, Puerto Rico 1979 and Caracas 1983), and also took part in the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, Montreal in 1976 and Los Angeles in 1984, at which he was the flag-bearer for the Argentinean delegation.
Ricardo was born in Buenos Aires in 1950, and started rowing at the age of 17. Initially, his sporting achievements took place in South America, but he then began to compete in Europe, winning several European championships. His first competitive regattas were at the Club Venancio López in Tigre, after which he competed for Regatas La Marina, Náutico Mar del Plata, Hispano Argentina and Club San Fernando. His great ability meant that he was the natural successor of Alberto Demiddi, another Argentinian rowing legend.
His achievements include the three consecutive gold medals at the Pan American Games, and fifth and sixth place respectively at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 and Los Angeles in 1984, earning him the Olympic Diploma. Also of note is Ibarra’s triumph in 1980 at the Henley Royal Regatta, one of the oldest regattas in the world.
After retiring from elite level sport, Ibarra became a coach, and began to work in 1986 for FISA (the International Rowing Federation) on a coach development programme which saw the start of his true contribution to the sport. Countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Cuba and Argentina, his birthplace, were the first to benefit from his work. As part of his work for FISA, he was responsible for supervising the rowing development project in Central America. In 2008, Ibarra added to his CV the position of Continental Representative for South America on the Council of FISA.