Olympic Archives – Tokyo 2020

For #Tokyo2020, we have dug up some images on Tokyo and the Japan Olympic Games in history. Japan was never lucky with the Olympics: it was supposed to also host the Games in 1940, but they were cancelled because of World War II. Now it is going ahead one year later, Go Tokyo!

For the Paralympics, we will run a short history of part two of the most important international competition in the world through the documents of Archives Portal Europe. Click here to see the posts on the Olympics

24 August

We kick off our history of the Paralympics with the rules before the International Paralympics Committee – in 1904, German-American gymnast George Eyser competed in the St Louis Olympics in spite of missing his left leg, which was amputated following an incident with a train. He won 6 medals: 3 gold (parallel bars, long horse vault, and 25-foot rope climbing), two silver (pommel horse and 4-event all-around), and one bronze (horizontal bar). From the National Archives of Estonia, the manuscript of the entry for George Eyser for the 1980 “Olympic Lexicon” – available at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/EE-RA/type/fa/id/ERA.R-2309/unitid/ERA.R-2309.2.226/search/0/George+Eyser

25 Aug

The first Paralympic games took place in Rome in September 1960, following the summer Olympics. The official name was “International Games for Paraplegics“, as the term Paralympics was only agreed in 1984 – however, retroactively this was recognised as the first official edition of the Games, to which 377 athletes from 23 countries participated; however, the only disability included at the time was spinal chord injury.

This first edition was actually the Ninth edition of the Stoke Mandeville Games, originally held in 1948 by neurologist Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who organized a sporting competition at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital rehabilitation facility, in England. The competition was organised for war veterans with spinal cord injuries, taking place concurrently with the first post-war Olympics in London. Over the years, the event grew to become an international competition, all the way to Rome 1960. From the archive of the Arquivo Comité Olímpico de Portugal, the poster of the 1960 Rome Olympics available here, and the Italian team at the opening ceremony

27 Aug

from the Zeeuws Archief in the Netherlands, the 12th edition of the Stoke Mandeville Games, aka the 1968 Paralympics games! Before Rome 1960, the Netherlands were the first country to associate to the Games in the late 1950s, making it an international sport competition! http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/NL-MdbZA/type/fa/id/400/unitid/400+-+305/search/0/Stoke+Mandeville+Games

The Dutch wheelchair archery team practising for the 1953 Wheelchair Olympics – image from Getty

31 Aug

The 1980 Paralympics were hosted in a different country from the Olympics, as the Soviet Union did not have an organisation for disability sport and declined the offer to host them. Just like the Olympics, these were highly political Paralympics: the Netherlands hosted the event, the second after Toronto 1976 to include disabilities other than spinal injuries, with delegations from 42 countries. South Africa was banned from participation because of apartheid policies, correcting the anomaly by which the country was not allowed to take part in the Olympics since the 1960, but it could participate to the Paralympics. The US, which boycotted the Olympics because of the Soviet – Afghan war, took part with 132 athletes. From the Gelders Archief, the archival collection dedicated to the “Olympics for the Disabled 1980 Arnhem/Veenendaal – Holland, 1980” http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/NL-AhGldA/type/fa/id/1500/unitid/1500+-+5531/search/0/paralympics (pics: the athletes’ village, and the official report)

The Olympic Village
The official report

1 Set

The Seoul Paralympics were the first in which the term “Paralympics” was used, and also the first that were regarded as an extension of the Olympics, being organised under the umbrella of the International Co-ordinating Committee. The Archive of the Municipality of Neerijnen at the Regionaal Archief Rivierenland, in the Netherlands, host the document collection on Sjerstin Vermeulen, one of the best Dutch Paralympic athletes, who competed in both swimming and equestrian http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/NL-TlRAR/type/fa/id/1500/unitid/1500+-+1479/search/0/Paralympics+in+Seoul

The 1988 Seoul Paralympics ceremony – available on the Paralympics website

2 Set

From the Staatsarchiv Freiburg, a ceremony to honour the participants to the 1992 Winter Paralympics in France http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/DE-00000899/type/fa/id/labw-5-723349/unitid/W+140+Nr.+16735/search/0/paralympics

3 Set

For the last day of the #Tokyo2020 Paralympics, we visit the archival collections created by London 2012, held at The National Archives in the UK – one of the largest Paralympics edition of all time! http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/GB-00000032118/type/fa/id/LOC/search/0/paral%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

See you in Paris!

2012 Summer Paralympics - Wikipedia


21 July

As the Olympics kick off with softball, baseball, and football, here is a photograph of the Argentinian Olympic Team reaching Europe towards the 1936 Games in Berlin. The pic was taken by German photographer Erich Andres, those photographic archive is held at the Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica

El equipo olímpico argentino embarca en el Cap Arcona en el puerto de Boulogne S.M. (1936)

22 July

Waiting for the Tokyo 2020 inauguration ceremony with a Souvenir preview for the XII Olympiad, which were supposed to happen in Tokyo in 1940 if World War II had not burst out!

University of East London Archives, Souvenir preview for the XII Olympiad, Tokyo (1937). Available on APE: http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/GB-2381/type/fa/id/gb2381-boa/unitid/GB_SLASH_2381_SLASH_BOA_SLASH_OG_SLASH_PROG_SLASH_S7/search/0/Tok%3Fo

23 July

The #Tokyo2020 opening ceremony is today – and the Het Utrechts Archief hold the audio of Emperor Hirohito declaring the games opened – available from Archives Portal Europe at this link: http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/NL-UtHUA/type/fa/id/1391/unitid/1391+-+1356-a/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

The file also contains an interview to Anton Geesink, the first non-Japanese judoka to win the Judo world championship, and gold medal at the 1964 Olympics, the first that featured Judo as a sport

24 July

First medals in judo! This is a picture of Tokio Hirano, one of the greatest judo technicians of all time, at the Karlsruhe sport club – Stadtarchiv Karlsruhe, http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/DE-Ka94/type/fa/id/8_BA_Schlesiger_1977/dbid/C665917198/search/0/Tok%3Fo

25 July

Archery medal day – here are the Tokyo 1964 archers from five country training in Basel before the Olympics – the Swiss champion was Bâlois Schindler, but the strongest player was the Belgian Roger Boussu. Women also participated in the tournament. Pic from the Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, available at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_922-2_HASH_5_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

26 July

It is the day of Artistic Gymnastic! In 1964, Italy won with Franco Menichelli, who conquered gold on the floor, a silver on rings and a bronze on parallel bars – from Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, the tv news from the era http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1119-2_HASH_5_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

27 July

At Tokyo 2020 is equestrian medal day – here is the Swiss equestrian team preparing to board with the horses on the “flying stable”, 1964 – thanks to the Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, document available here: http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1134-3_HASH_1_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

28 July

As these are the days of rowing finals, here are rowers Wolfgang Hottenrott and Michael Schwan, who won bronze in Tokyo 1964 in the coxless pair category. They are attending an event at the Karlsruhe Rhine Club Alemannia in November – courtesy of the Stadtarchiv Karlsruhe, the document is available at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/DE-Ka94/type/fa/id/8_BA_Schlesiger_Bd.12/unitid/8_SLASH_BA+Schlesiger+1964+_SLASH+A11a_131_1_li/search/0/Tok%3Fo

29 July

A few pics from the collection “Japão” by photographer António Júlio Duarte, courtesy of the Centro Português de Fotografia – all photographs are from 1996/97.

Tokyo I, Japão. Available at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/PT-00000000447/type/fa/id/PT_SLASH_CPF_SLASH_CNF/unitid/PT_SLASH_CPF_SLASH_CNF_SLASH_000379/search/0/Tok%3Fo
Tokyo V, Japão. Available at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/PT-00000000447/type/fa/id/PT_SLASH_CPF_SLASH_CNF/unitid/PT_SLASH_CPF_SLASH_CNF_SLASH_000380/search/0/Tok%3Fo
Tokyo, Japan. Available at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/PT-00000000447/type/fa/id/PT_SLASH_CPF_SLASH_CNF/unitid/PT_SLASH_CPF_SLASH_CNF_SLASH_000745/search/0/Tok%3Fo

30 Jul

Athletics starts today at Tokyo 2020 – here is a candidate to Tokyo 1964 for Switzerland training for the 400 metres, thanks to the Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv

Kandidaten für Tokio, http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1130-1_HASH_4_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo

31 Jul & 1 Aug

Swiss judo champion Eric Hänni, silver medal at Tokyo 1964, competes for fun with the athletes of the local sport club in Fribourg -10 Against 1 ! Courtesy of the Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv

Dix contre un (1964) http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1160-2_HASH_6_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

2 Aug

Tokyo 1964 swimming Olympic champions visit Bern: Gold medal (and world record) at Tokyo 1964 Cathy Ferguson and Don Schollander swim in Bern – courtesy of Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv

Don Schollander in Bern (1965) http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1171-1_HASH_7_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

3 Aug

A very special document from the Archives départementales de la Manche: “Du cavalier rural au cavalier olympique”, from farmer rider to Olympic rider: an audio interview to Bernadette Legoupil, olympic groom and wife of André Legoupil. They competed for France at Tokyo 1964, but at the time women were frowned upon as groom, and he also had troubles as he did not ride a military horse as his training. You can listen the whole story from Bernadette and André’s voices in person (in French) from the link at http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/FR-FRAD050/type/fa/id/FRAD050_00191/unitid/99+AV+1396-1_SLASH_3/search/0/Tok%3Fo

André Legoupil in 1968 – Available at https://www.cheval-savoir.com/300-legoupil-andre-cavalier-complet

4 Aug

We take a brief pause from sport to show some of the amazing posters from the Tokyo collection held at the University of Brighton Design Archives – to keep the mood of Tokyo 1964 we chose some from the 1960s, but the collection is immense! http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/GB-1837/type/fa/id/gb1837-des_SLASH_ico/unitid/GB_SLASH_1837_SLASH_DES_SLASH_ICO_SLASH_3_SLASH_19/search/0/Japan

5 Aug

Another off topic to present other collections on Japan held in Archives Portal Europe: Missionaries in Tokyo in the summer of 1897, 124 years before the Olympics, held at the Hessisches Staatsarchiv Darmstadt (http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/DE-2556/type/fa/id/HStAD-R-4/unitid/R+4_COMMA_+8066/search/0/Tok%3Fo)

and the correspondence between the Socialist International and the General Federation of Labour of Japan from 1927 to 1935 – the full collection is available here: http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/NL-AmISG/type/fa/id/http_COLON__SLASH__SLASH_hdl.handle.net_SLASH_10622_SLASH_ARCH01368/unitid/http_COLON__SLASH__SLASH_hdl.handle.net_SLASH_10622_SLASH_ARCH01368+-+2273/search/0/Tok%3Fo

6 Aug

It’s beach volley day today and tomorrow and Sunday will crown the winners of Tokyo 2020 at volley – here is the Swiss team that would represent the country at Tokyo 1964 playing against Tunisia in 1963 – from the Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1048-2_HASH_7_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fo+Ol%3Fmpi_ASTERISK_

7 Aug

The Olympic games are approaching the end – here is the triumphal return of the Swiss olympic champions, particularly the dressage riders with the horses from the TV news – on Archives Portal Europe you can read the full text of the newsreel in French, German, and Italian “the horses that have contributed to our success have endured magnificently the baptism of air flying, and deservedly share the honours with the other athletes”. The Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv hold the full newsreel: http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/CH-000018-2/type/fa/id/J2.143_ASTERISK__4205/unitid/J2.143_HASH_1996_SLASH_386_HASH_1137-2_HASH_1_ASTERISK_/search/0/Tok%3Fon

8 Aug

The Olympics draw to a close, where are the next Olympics going to be held? Here is the application from Barcelona to host the 1992 Olympic games – and they won! http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/es/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/ES-28079-AHN9/type/fa/id/ES-28079-AHN-UD-2040379/unitid/ES-28079-AHN-UD-2040379+-+ES-28079-AHN-UD-2631222/

Carta del Comisionado del Consejo de Apoyo a la candidatura de Barcelona a los Juegos Olímpicos de 1992, Joan Mas Cantí , a Luis Rosales (1986) http://www.archivesportaleurope.net/es/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/ES-28079-AHN9/type/fa/id/ES-28079-AHN-UD-2040379/unitid/ES-28079-AHN-UD-2040379+-+ES-28079-AHN-UD-2631222/

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