Communist China didn’t enter the Olympics until 1984 in Los Angeles, but they entered the nuclear race 20 years earlier in Olympic fashion.
The Tokyo Games began on October 10, 1964. Six days into the competition, on Friday, October 16, China exploded an atomic bomb. While the Chinese government released a statement promising never to be the first to use a nuclear weapon, this atomic test did not diminish the shock and fear that reverberated globally. On top of that, Japan being relatively close to mainland China, there were immediate concerns of radiation fall out in Japan.
The ability for high performance athletes to focus is astounding. Ask an Olympian who participated in the 1964 Summer Games, and surprisingly, most do not recall this news, despite the fact that it happened smack in the middle of the Summer Games.
What do they say – couldn’t see the forest (or the cloud) for the trees?