1972 Japan MAG Training WAG

1972: Japan’s Olympic Trials Results and Goals for Munich

Who would make Japan’s men’s team for the Munich Olympics? The gymnastics world couldn’t wait to find out. As a Hungarian newspaper put it, “It is easier to win a gold medal than to get onto the Japanese national team.”

In the end, there were three members of the 1970 World Championship team (Nakayama, Tsukahara, and Kenmotsu), the 1968 Olympic All-Around Champion (Kato), the 1970 University Games All-Around Champion (Okamura), and Kasamatsu, who tied for fourth at the 1972 Riga International and won one of Japan’s qualifying competitions for Munich. 

On the women’s side, the team was aiming for a bronze medal after its disappointing fourth-place finish in Mexico City.

What follows is a translation of the teams’ goals and the results from the selection competitions. This post also includes an article from Hungary on the men’s team selection.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 24: Sawao Kato of Japan competes in the Floor of the Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Individual All-Around final during the Mexico City Summer Olympic Games at the National Auditorium on October 24, 1968 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
1967 Japan Training

1967: Training MAG and WAG in Japan

What was it like training in Japan in the late 1960s? How many hours did they train? How was the Japanese gymnastics system set up? Did they use spotting belts?

Let’s take a look…

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 14: Kazue Hanyu competes in the Balance Beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Mexico Olympic Qualifying at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on July 14, 1968 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
1967 Training USSR

1967: Training in the Soviet Union

What was it like to train in the Soviet Union in the 1960s? At what age did they start? What were their gyms like? What did their training manuals look like?

Let’s take a look at some documents from the archives to find out…