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Japan at the Olympics

Japan's Olympic Committee (Japanese Olympic Committee) was created in 1911 and was recognized by the International Olympic community the year after, becoming the first Asian team to participate at the Olympics. In that same year, they participated in their very first Olympic Games which were held in Stockholm, Sweden. Mishima Yahiko who competed in the 100, 200 and 400 meters and Kanakuri Shiz┼Ź who ran the marathon were the first Japanese Olympians.

Although Japan did not win a medal in their debut in the Olympics, they did so the very next Summer Games. In 1920, tennis player Ichiya Kumagae together with fellow-tennis players Seiichiro Kashio and Ichiya Kumagae won the silver in the men's singles and men's doubles respectively making them the first of many Olympic medalists that Japan would produce. The 1920 Antwerp Summer Olympics also marked the beginning of a virtually unbroken winning streak for Japan.

Japan has been in most Summer Olympics missing only the 1948 Summer Games, where they were banned from joining, and the 1980 Games where they participated in the American-led boycott of the Summer Olympics which was held in Moscow, USSR.

Japanese swimmers training in YokusukaJapanese swimmers competing in Yokusuka

Japan even hosted a number of the Olympic Games. In 1964, they hosted the Summer Games in Tokyo which is also the first time they ranked 3rd overall with a total of 93 countries participating. They repeated this feat the very next Summer Games in Mexico. In 1972, they hosted the Winter Games in Sapporo where they were also one of the top teams. In 1998, they again hosted the Winter Olympics in Nagano where they took 5 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze Olympic medals making them the 7th overall that year which was by far the best showing they had in the Winter Games. Japan are the host of the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo.

Japan made their first appearance in the Winter Olympics and missing only the 1980 Winter Games since then.


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