This month the Japanese media is full of newsthe Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It feels good to have an Asian country the games again. But the Olympics that will forever be No. 1 in my memory are the 11th Winter Olympics, held in Sapporo in 1972.
, I am not that interested in sporting events. But the Winter Olympics are an . This is because they more sports and that are us in Hokkaido. The Sapporo Olympics were the first Winter Games to outside of Europe and the United States. They were also the first Winter Olympics in which Japan won a gold medal, thanks to ski jumper Yukio Kasaya. It was also during the Sapporo Olympics that Japan American figure skater Janet Lynn for her and .
Iremember how dusty and noisy Sapporo was during the years it prepared to host the Winter Games. When the dust cleared, Sapporo was a shiny, new, city ready to receive visitors from all over the world. Life for Sapporo's citizens had improved too, with a unique new subway system and underground shopping malls that eased life in one of the world's snowiest major cities.
When my high school announced a special Winter Olympics holiday, I didn't expect to be able toany actual Olympic events. Thanks to a of tickets to Hokkaido International School, I was able to attend my first ice hockey match. I've been an ice hockey fan .
However, I am a littleto tell you about the most memorable thing that happened to me during the Sapporo Olympics. Foreigners were still rare in Sapporo before 1972, and the local residents imagined that every foreigner they saw must be an Olympic athlete. Schoolchildren anyone who looked like a foreigner and an — including me! I tried to explain to them that I was no one special, but they would not listen.
At first, Isigned the notebooks they at me, hoping to make them go away. But more and more people my autograph and I couldn't escape. So I decided to do something . I began signing my name "Lynn." Lynn is my middle name, so I told myself that I was not lying. But I was blond, and I was close to Janet Lynn in age, so some people probably thought I was the famous American figure skater. Now I regret . If any ST readers have my autograph from 1972, please forgive me and the autograph !
The Japan Times ST: February 9, 2018