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Sumo Demonstrations at the Olympic Games

There was a demonstration of sumo wrestling at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, as part of the Japanese martial art (budō) exhibition, and the return to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics also sees sumo being shown as an exhibition sport.

sumo wrestlingsumo wrestling

There is already two other forms of wrestling on the Olympic Games program, freestyle and Greco-Roman, so we cannot forsee sumo forcing its way onto the program. It is more a cultural demonstration of a local sport to the people visiting Japan.

1964 Sumo Demonstration

In 1964, the demonstration of sumo took place on October 15, 1964 at the Nippon Budokan with nearly 9,000 spectators, on a program that also included demonstrations of archery (kyūdō) and fencing (kendo).

The following is taken from the official Budo Demonstration program from the 1964 Olympic Games.

11.00 SUMO

14.10 SUMO

2021 Sumo Demonstration

Though not explicitly listed as an demonstration sport, the Japan Sumo Association held a special two-day exhibition tournament after the Olympics as part of the official Olympics cultural festival.

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