Enriqueta Basilio

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Enriqueta Basilio
Enriqueta Basilio 1968.jpg
Basilio during the 1968 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Born(1948-07-15)15 July 1948
Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
Died26 October 2019(2019-10-26) (aged 71)
Height1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight59 kg (130 lb)
SportSprint, hurdles
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)12.3 (100 m, 1968)
55.0 (400 m, 1968)
11.20 (80 m/h, 1968).
Enriqueta Basilio carrying the Olympic torch and lighting the cauldron. Becoming the first woman in the entire Olympic history in having done so.

Norma Enriqueta Basilio Sotelo, also known as Queta Basilio (15 July 1948 – 26 October 2019),[1][2] was a Mexican track and field athlete. She was born in Mexicali, capital of Baja California. She came from an athletic family; her father was a cotton farmer. Her Polish coach, Vladimir Puzio, moved her from high jumping to hurdling. She made history by becoming the first woman to light the Olympic Cauldron. She was the last torch-bearer of the 19th Summer Olympics in Mexico City on 12 October 1968.[3][4]

She was a national athletics champion and record-holder in 80 metres hurdles and finished seventh in this event at the 1967 Pan American Games. At the 1968 Olympics she was eliminated in the heats of the 400 metres, 80 metres hurdles and 4 × 100 metres relay events.[5] In 1970, she took bronze in the Central American Games 4 x 100m relay.[3]

She married the basketball player Mario Álvarez, who was later secretary to the Oaxaca state governor. She was widowed with three young children when he died in an aeroplane accident. She studied sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and became a federal deputy for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) during the LVIII Legislature of the Mexican Congress.[3]

She became a permanent member of the Mexico Olympic Committee and was part of the 2004 Olympic torch relay when it was passing through Mexico City. In 2014, she was amongst 6,500 people defrauded of their savings in a money-lending business scam. She died of pneumonia on 26 October 2019, aged 71.[3]

On 15 October 2020, the small moon of trojan asteroid 3548 Eurybates was named Queta after her, making her the first Olympic athlete honored in this way.[6]


  1. ^ "Enriqueta Basilio muere a los 71 años de edad".
  2. ^ http://www.com.org.mx/com-informa/lamenta-com-perdida-de-enriqueta-basilio/
  3. ^ a b c d "Enriqueta Basilio". The Times. 16 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Enriqueta Basilio". The Daily Telegraph. 8 November 2019.
  5. ^ Enriqueta Basilio. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-05-05.
  6. ^ "MPEC 2020-T164: (3548) Eurybates I = Queta". Minor Planet Center. 15 October 2020.

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Alain Calmat
Final Olympic torchbearer
Mexico City 1968
Succeeded by
Hideki Takada
Preceded by
Yoshinori Sakai
Final Summer Olympic torchbearer
Mexico City 1968
Succeeded by
Günther Zahn