August 1, 2021

When “Kiki” Caron came close to the “diplomatic incident” at the Tokyo Games in 1964

Ask “Kiki” Caron for her memories of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the silver medalist, French star at the time, will tell you a little about swimming, and a lot about Japan. “I almost caused a diplomatic incident! “, remembers Christine by her first name, then 16 years old. In question, an intrusion into the lodge of a “To be untouchable”, there: Emperor Hirohito, at the National Olympic Stadium, during the athletics events.

“I wanted to see Bob Hayes’ 100 meters [champion olympique et ancien recordman du monde de la discipline] and I was afraid of missing it, so I ran to get into a lodge. “ Without knowing who it belonged to. “There was security already, of course, but maybe not as much as it is now. Guards eventually took me out. “

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Two decades after the Second World War, the atmosphere in the Olympic Village is “The party permanently” and a form of recklessness, assures Jacqueline Gaugey-Brisepierre, 75 years old. The Frenchwoman then took part in artistic gymnastics competitions. For the opening of its first Summer Games, Japan wanted “An astonishing and grandiose ceremony”. The gymnast still has in mind, ” like it was yesterday “, this Olympic flame. To wear it, a young man born on August 6, 1945, the day of the bombing of Hiroshima by the American air force. In the air, “Five air force planes traced the five Olympic rings”.

“Equipment that did not exist in France”

For the first time, the Games, in which officially no professional athlete participates, have the right to be broadcast on mondovision television. ” Every day, remembers Kiki Caron, 73 years old today. A postal bag of letters was waiting for me at the entrance to the Olympic Village. ” The high school student is enjoying life and the twist in the Olympic Village. “There was a sort of nightclub. A very good-natured atmosphere. When I finished my tests, I was allowed to go. “ Between athletes, discussions are often held in English. “We understood each other. “

The French delegation has several points of reference, such as the presence on site of journalist Georges de Caunes, famous voice of the ORTF, responsible for publishing for the occasion a mini-newspaper for the Blues. And that “Of French cooks [leur] making food “, also recalls the former judoka Jacques Le Berre, 83 years old. At the time, the French teams were still largely male; 120 men, 22 women. All countries combined, there are barely 13% of women among all participants.

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