The life of Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano and the Olympics

Activities of national team athletes

Activities of national team athletes

As interest in the Olympics grew in Japan, the number of national team members gradually increased, and they began to produce medal-winning performances. Japan's first women's gold medal came in the 200-meters breaststroke event at the Berlin Olympiad, and the famous "Go, Maehata!" shout of the radio announcer brought the entire country to the edge of their seats; a broadcast still talked about today. Also remembered from that Olympiad was the "friendship medals" episode in which the two Japanese who received the silver and bronze medals in the pole vault event cut their medals in half, and fused the silver and bronze halves together so that each could share a half of the other.

The feats of these athletes were largely responsible for making the Olympics popular among the Japanese public, and a growing chorus of voices began to call for a Tokyo Olympiad. The Tokyo City Council responded by officially proposing Tokyo as an Olympiad site, and Jigoro played an important role at the IOC (International Olympic Committee) in that Olympic hosting bid.