Sport: Tradition Unbound

The two barefoot, kimono-clad contestants bowed, gripped sleeves, and stared at each other with furious concentration. The silent S.R.O. crowd in Paris' Pierre de Coubertin Stadium strained to catch the first muscular move. With The Netherlands' hulking (6 ft. 5 in. 238 lbs.) Anton Geesink fighting Japan's smaller (6 ft. 1 in. 198 lbs.) Koji Sone, much more than the judo (literally, "gentle way'') championship of the world was at stake. This was a challenge to Japan's dominance over her own national sport, and it was the ultimate test of one of the...

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