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1964: ”Baby Hiroshima”
The 1964 Games, the first-ever televised Olympics, took place in a moment when many sectors of history intersected. Between Japan’s complicated past with the Games (they were relocated from Tokyo in 1940 — and ultimately cancelled — because of World War II) to the history-making first time the Games occurred in Asia, this particular Olympics was a defining moment. In a poignant gesture, organizers tapped Yoshinori Sakai, a runner born in Hiroshima the day the atom bomb dessicated the city, to light the cauldron. As he ascended the steps with the flame, he symbolized the country’s movement toward peace and recovery, and the Games’ underlying spirit of unity.
Image Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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