Juan Escutia

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJuan•Escutia Olivares
Used nameJuan•Escutia
Nick/petnamesIndio Olivares
Born15 December 1895 in Coatepec de Morelos, Michoacán (MEX)
Died5 October 1933 in El Dorado, Sinaloa (MEX)
Measurements170 cm
NOC Mexico


The oldest of seven children, Juan Escutia was originally educated locally at Zitácuaro, before attending the Presbyterian College of Coyoacán in Mexico City, and it was here that he first showed promise as an athlete. However, the Mexican Revolution put an end to his education and athletics ambitions, as he joined the Army as a teenager in 1910. He retired in 1917, with the rank of captain, and the following year, started to show what a great athlete he was, and won many inter-institutional competitions organized by the “El Heraldo” and “El Universal” newspapers.

Escutia joined the School of Physical Education in 1922, and in 1923 became a member if the Yaqui Club and won the Athletic Association’s 400 metres hurdles title, and was the club 200 champion that same year. At the 1924 Olympic qualifying competition at Union Park he won the 800 to qualify, and become the first athlete from the State of Michoacán to go to the Olympics. Escutia also won the 400 hurdles in a Mexican record 1:06 but, instead, competed in the 400 flat, and 800, at the Paris Games. Unfortunately like all the other Mexican athletes, he returned home without a medal.

After the Olympics, Escutia was one of the founder members of the Club Deportivo Zitácuaro, which gave the opportunity for local people to participate in a wide range of sports, not just athletics. In 1925 he began teaching in the city of Toluca as a professor of Physical Education in the Military Institute of the State of Mexico. In 1928 he changed occupation and travelled around Mexico working on cultural missions, and it was on one of them on 5 October 1933 that he met his tragic and gruesome end when he was hit by a train at El Dorado, Chihuahua. In his memory, a local school was named in his honour, and called The Professor Juan Escutia Olivares School. In 1962 his remains were eventually moved to Zitácuaro, where he was eventually laid to rest at “home.” Esculia was known as “Indio Olivares”, because of an Indian look he had about him.

Personal Bests: 400 – 54.0 (1920); 800 – unknown.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Athletics MEX Juan Escutia
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h9 r1/4
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 7 h2 r1/3
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Mexico DNS
3,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Mexico DNS
Cross-Country, Individual, Men (Olympic) DNS
Cross-Country, Team, Men (Olympic) Mexico DNS

Special Notes