Three simple words that represented our school athletics day which was held on June 3rd. Everyone completed hard and cheered harder. There were the serious events and of course the fun for all ones like the three legged race. It was a great day out of the classroom.
Our venue was the Komazawa Olympic Park Stadium. This is part of Olympic history as it was built for the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics held three decades and one year ago. To date Japan has hosted the Olympics 3 times, 1964 Summer Olympics, 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo and the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. Tokyo has recently been awarded the 2020 Olympics and while Komazawa Stadium is longer big enough or high tech enough to be used, it is a piece of sporting history. My students enjoyed standing on the podium and receiving the accolades of their peers. Three medals were awarded for each event, a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal depending on their placing.
Comparison of Three Olympics
Given the Tokyo Olympics were in 1964 and the topic is 3, I decided to compare the Olympics approximately 30 years on either side of 1964.
1932 1964 1992
L.A U.S.A Tokyo Japan Barcelona Spain
No of Nations participating 37 93 169
No of athletes 1,332 5,151 9,356
Male / Female 1,206 / 126 4,473 / 678 6,652 / 2,704
No of events / sports 117 /14 sports 163 / 19 sports 257 / 25 sports .
We can see that every time the Olympics increase. The 1932 Olympics were very small partly due to the Great Depression. What surprised me was the large difference in numbers of female athletes compared to male ones especially in the 1992 Olympics. This had closed up considerably in the 2012 London Olympics. There were 10,768 athletes. 5,992 were male and 4,776 were female.
Interesting Fun Olympic Fact / Urban Myth
At high level international sporting events there is mandatory testing for illicit drugs and doping. Up until 1996 gender testing was mandatory at the Olympic Games.
In 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal it was reported that Princess Anne of the United Kingdom was the only female competitor not to have to submit to a sex test. She was a member of her country’s equestrian team. As the daughter Queen Elizabeth II, apparently such a test was seen as inappropriate.
Maybe she was exempted, maybe she wasn’t but the fact remains that in the equestrian events men and women compete against each other anyway so what’s the point? And nowadays who cares? Charlie married his first love, mistress and a divorcee and Bruce Jenner who was a 1972 Olympian is now Caitlyn so hey Anne just be yourself!
Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu