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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Olympic Special: Short History of Japan At The Winter Olympic Games

I assume we all know that Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, right. Cool. It's the first summer hosting job for Japan of the Olympics since 1964.

It was also kind of a welcome back to the civilized world for Japan in 1964, as the US and Asia (and Canada and New Zealand and Australia) were all still pretty pissed off at them for their aggressive stance during WWII - and that's putting things mildly.

Japan did not participate in the 1948 Olympics - summer or winter - mostly because it was not invited. The 1948 Olympics were the first such Games after a 12-year hiatus thanks to WWII. The last Olympics (Summer & Winter) were held in Nazi Germany in 1936.

Did you know (and you should because I wrote about it before), that Japan was to have hosted the never-held 1940 summer and winter Olympics (Sapporo for the Winter, Tokyo for Summer), while Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy was to have held the 1944 Winter Olympics and London the 1944 summer Olympics.

Let's see... Nazi Germany in 1936... Japan in 1940... Italia in 1944. Whew! The whole so-called Axis of Evil! The IOC (International Olympic Committee), sure can pick'em!

As for the Winter Olympics, we know that Japan has hosted twice - in 1972 in Sapporo and in 1998 in Nagano.

While the first Winter Olympics were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France, I should point out that winter sports were held during the Summer Olympics: Figure skating (in 1908 London and 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium) and ice hockey (in 1920) were featured as Olympic events at the Summer Olympics.

But here, below, is a list of Japan's participation in each Winter's Games since its inception in 1924, including the number of athletes and accomplishments. It does NOT include the 2014 complete totals, but I suspect you could always just look in a newspaper. I'll update at the conclusion of the games.

WINTER OLYMPICS

Games Athletes Gold Silver Bronze Total
France 1924 Chamonix did not participate
Switzerland   1928 St. Moritz 6 0 0 0 0
United States 1932 Lake Placid 16 0 0 0 0
Nazi Germany 1936 Garmisch-    Partenkirchen 31 0 0 0 0
Switzerland  1948 St. Moritz did not participate (Everybody still hated Japan)
Norway 1952 Oslo 13 0 0 0 0
Italy 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo 10 0 1 0 1
United States 1960 Squaw Valley 41 0 0 0 0
Austria 1964 Innsbruck 47 0 0 0 0
France 1968 Grenoble 61 0 0 0 0
Japan 1972 Sapporo 85 1 1 1 3
Austria 1976 Innsbruck 58 0 0 0 0
United States 1980 Lake Placid 50 0 1 0 1
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1984 Sarajevo 39 0 1 0 1
Canada 1988 Calgary 48 0 0 1 1
France 1992 Albertville 60 1 2 4 7
Norway 1994 Lillehammer 59 1 2 2 5
Japan 1998 Nagano 156 5 1 4 10
United States 2002 Salt Lake City 103 0 1 1 2
Italy 2006 Turin 110 1 0 0 1
Canada 2010 Vancouver 94 0 3 2 5
Russia 2014 Sochi (as of today) 136 1 4 3 8
South Korea 2018 Pyeongchang





Total10 Gold 16 Silver 17 Bronze 43 Medals

Medals by winter sport

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Ski jumping 3 5 3 11
Nordic combined 2 2 0 4
Speed skating 1 5 9 15
Figure skating 2 2 1 5
Short track speed skating 1 0 2 3
Freestyle skiing 1 0 2 3
Alpine skiing 0 1 0 1
Total 10 15 17 42

We can also add in 2 Silver and 1 Bronze in Snowboarding, giving Japan a total of 45 Winter Olympic Medals (as of Feb. 21, 2014).

So... would you like to know just WHO are six athletes were for Japan at the 1928 Winter Olympics? I would, because I'm a curiouser an curiouser type of guy.

In Cross Country Skiing, there were two events that four members took part in:

18km race
surname first)           Time             Rank
Takahashi Subaru      2'10:57         37
Nagata Minoru          2'04:23         32
Takefushi Sakuta       2'04:20         31
Yazawa Takeo          2'02:29         27


50km race
surname first)           Time             Rank
Aso Takeji                 DNF             -
Takefushi Sakuta       6'08:50         26
Takahashi Subaru      6'05:25         25
Nagata Minoru          6'02:24         24


In Nordic Combined, which is an 18km Cross Country Ski plus Normal Hill Ski Jumping:

Takefushi Sakuta - DNF

Ski Jumping

                                                 1st Jump                        2nd Jump
Ban Motohiko   Normal Hill      34.0 meters (w/a Fall)    39.0 meters
Rank: 38

That's all for today!

Cheers
Andrew Joseph

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