I’ve got my ticket for the Tokyo Olympics!
It’s Gate L of the National Stadium, section 27, seat O-20. It’s a Class-3 ticket, which is not as good as Class 1 or Class-2, but it has a far better view than Class-4 or 5.
One problem. The National Stadium has been torn down. And the date of the ticket is Sunday, October 18, 1964.
Yes, in my occasional hunt for Olympic memorabilia, I purchased an original unused ticket from the XVIII Olympiad held in Tokyo nearly 52 years ago.
I love this piece of history, the red circle, followed by a blue circle and the runner icon which represents Athletics. The clock at the top shows the start time – the white circle with black hands indicating that this is the first time slot of the day, and that I would only be able to see the second time slot of the day if I had the relevant ticket with a black clock with white hands.
The stubs are serrated in logical fashion – the first stub removed at the gate, the second removed as you enter the section, leaving you with the seat number. The price on the ticket is JPY1,000, which at that time was priced at USD2.80 or GBP1.000. Better seats would have cost one to three thousand more yen, the cheaper ones 500 yen less.
But who cares, as long as you were in the National Stadium that day. What could I have seen with this ticket? While I am not sure what times of the day these events happened, I could possibly have witnessed:
- American Hayes Jones take gold in the 110-meter hurdles
- Bob Schul become the first American to ever win the 5,000 meters
- Romuald Klim of the USSR win the men’s hammer throw
- Italian Abdon Pamich win the grueling 50-kilometer walk, or
- Brit Lynn “The Leap” Davies become the long jump champion.
It rained most of that day, as it did most of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. But that Sunday at the National Stadium would have been an amazing day indeed!
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