National Geographic : 1964 Oct
make out the great ceremonial caldron that will hold the Olympic flame when it arrives by air and by runner from Olympia. High up in the gray mist, a welder's torch winked with the faint glitter of a star atop a huge floodlight tower above the stands. Standing here, where for two weeks in mid October the athletes of more than 100 nations would await their turns on the field, I could almost hear the thunder of applause from the stands as a gold-medal champion faced the crowd to the strains of his national anthem. I hoped that more than once the anthem would be Japanese. So, I am sure, does Shigeru Yosano, though he is far too polite to admit it. Mr. Yosano is Secretary General of Japan's Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVIII Olympiad and a former Japanese Ambassador 464 to Spain. I called on him at the committee's offices. After his secretary had brought the inevitable cups of green tea, I raised the question of Japan's Olympic prospects. Mr. Yosano was all Japanese modesty. "We are strong in swimming," he began hopefully, then sighed. "But you Americans and the Australians are extremely good. We have some hope in gymnastics and in weight lifting, however, and it is possible we may have a small success in shooting and sailing." He frowned. "Women's volleyball looks promising-but one never knows. And once we were not bad in equestrian events." I remarked that for the first time in Olym pic history, judo was on the official program. Surely Japan would win that? "Sa!" said Mr. Yosano, using the favorite Japanese expression for doubt or anxiety. "Perhaps we have a chance-but it is only a very tiny one."