The Olympics: For Gold, Silver & Bronze

On and on they came—purple-turbaned Indians, saffron-robed Ghanaians, Bermudians in (what else?) Bermuda shorts, Americans in L.B.J. hats, Russians waving red ribbons at the cheering crowd. Trumpets blared, cannons roared, and screaming jets traced the five-ringed Olympic symbol in the sky. Onto the rust-colored track at Tokyo's National Stadium trotted Yoshinori Sakai, a 19-year-old student who was born near Hiroshima just hours after the atomic bomb fell on the city. Carrying aloft the blazing Olympic torch, Sakai bounded up a flight of 179 steps, thrust it into a cauldron of oil. Flames leapt up, and halfway around the world, in...

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