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Japan's Olympic Story, from 1964 to 2021

After COVID-19 forced Japan to delay the 2020 Olympics, a panel of experts explores the potential impact of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games compared to Japan’s first time hosting in 1964 and the Sapporo 1972 and Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
Paul Droubie
Robin Kietlinski
Roy Tomizawa
Matthew Abbott
Event Date

About This Event 

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the first held in Asia, marked Japan's rebirth as it returned to the world stage as a peaceful and stable nation after World War II. The event transformed Tokyo into a modern city, provided a huge economic boost to the country, and made sports a fundamental part of the lives of Japanese people. Half a century later, Japan hoped to repeat 1964's success by hosting the 2020 Olympics. However, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Japan postponed the Olympics by one year. A panel of experts examines the 2021's Tokyo Olympics' potential legacy in a post-pandemic context.

About the Speakers
Director of International Studies at Manhattan College in The Bronx
Paul Droubie is a historian of Japan and Director of International Studies at Manhattan College in The Bronx. He specializes in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, national identity, and historical memory.
Associate Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York
Robin Kietlinski
Professor Kietlinski’s research focuses on historical intersections between Japanese society and sport, with a focus on the Olympic Games. Her 2012 book, Japanese Women and Sport: Beyond Baseball and Sumo, looks at the history of Japanese women’s participation in sport from the 19th century to the present.
Robin Kietlinski
Sports Journalist and Author
Roy Tomizawa
Roy Tomizawa is a leadership and talent development consultant as well as a sports journalist who recently published a book, 1964 – The Greatest Year in the History of Japan: How the Tokyo Olympics Symbolized Japan’s Miraculous Rise from the Ashes.
Roy Tomizawa
Director, Government and Diplomatic Programs
Headshot for Matt Abbott
Matt Abbott joined the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2015 as the director of government and diplomatic programs.
Headshot for Matt Abbott