Panama City.- More than 55 years ago, Héctor Fermín Marcos Gutiérrez made a transcendental decision. He went from third baseman in the Cabaiguán baseball team to a cyclist by mistake. After his retirement as a cyclist in 1980 he would coach future sprinters for a year, but would then entrust all his talents to the studio to become International Commissioner in 1989.

For this complex and magical work of enforcing with excellence what is established in the regulations of the International Cycling Union, this smiling and charismatic Cuban received the COPACI Order of Merit on April 20, the highest distinction to honor those who have contributed to the development of cycling. cycling in our continent.

He confesses that he was moved by the hug from his friend José Manuel Peláez, and the presence of the UCI holder, David Lappartient, but he still has the strength to continue enjoying cranks and pedals, sprints and elevations, as if it were the first time, when Lázaro Hernández lent him a rudder won by him in a third category national competition.

He is not a media figure, but that is why this recognition is more valuable. Because he contains true justice. Héctor Marcos, as almost all lovers of this discipline in Cuba and America know him, is torn right now between looking for an anecdote that has marked him in 33 years of directing races, Caribbean or Pan-American track or road championships, and that moment end in which the blue uniform with the initials of the UCI will be kept in a shop window to tell his two grandchildren one day who his grandfather was.

An exemplary father of five children: Héctor, Harold, Lianet, Leandro and Leonardo, the renowned International Commissioner admits that he always preferred the track over the road, although directing races was his true passion. He studied in advance each city where he went and once there he examined the circuit, the logistics and all the details of his work, be it in the Amazon jungle of Brazil or in the cosmopolitan capitals of Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina, among others. other countries of the continent, without forgetting the land where he was born

He has been faithful to cycling Cuba and sports Cuba, to his friend and compatriot Peláez, but above all to a sport that has allowed him to run and share with “the best Cuban cyclists of all time: Eduardo Alonso and Sergio Pipián Martínez ”, he has said convinced on several occasions. Likewise, he has never stopped advising his son Leandro, a tracker like he was and whom he dreams of seeing as the Central American champion, which is a remake of his gold in 1974 with the pursuit team.

Héctor Marcos deserved this COPACI Order of Merit that only 14 people treasure now. I would have wanted his family not to find out through photos, writings or social networks. But the life of an International Commissioner never ends with these emotions. Many more remain to be written.