Here’s the intro to what I wrote in August 2013, a few weeks before Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Summer Games:
It’s been more than 50 years since Tokyo was awarded the 1964 Summer Olympics, and it was done before several landmark events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.
Consider the following:
■ The IOC’s decision on May 26, 1959, occurred in Munich, West Germany. (East and West Germany reunited decades later, signaling the end of the Cold War.)
■ The decision came more than two years before construction of the Berlin Wall began.
■ The decision happened only a month and a half after slugger Sadaharu Oh made his Yomiuri Giants debut, and before he became a quintessential baseball star.
■ The decision was made five years before the Beatles took the United States by storm and revolutionized rock ‘n’ roll as a major cultural force on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
■ The decision was announced a little less than two months after the Dalai Lama was granted asylum in India.
Indeed, being awarded the Olympic Games in 1959 set in motion big changes for Tokyo and Japan, which were recovering from the devastation caused by World War II. (Five years later, Tokyo hosted the first Olympics on Asian soil.)