RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 13. SUNDAY, the 15th of August, will always be etched in my memory because on this day Gastão Maris e Figueiredo, passed away at the age of 94.
Though he was a member of Brazilian Masters for 30 years, I hardly knew Gastão when I first went to swim at the C.R.Icaraí. We coached open water sswimmers in the ocean in front of the club and Gastão always appeared there for to provide support aand inspiration. He was a happy figure, full of the joy of living.
I grew up in Icaraí and Gastão was always present. He was President of the C. R. Icaraí, President of the rowing federation and all of his life was involved with water sports. When the Brazilian National masters Federation ((ABMN) was founded, Gastão soon became a member whenever he was able to, he appeared at our competitions. In the World Championships of 2000, in Munich, Germany, he won every event he entered, breaking several world records, most of which still stand.
It was fitting that Gastao was called to God during the Athens Olympic Games — perhaps it was by recommendation of the gods of Olympus.
- Marlene Mendes