The Olympics: A Kind of Special Immortality

Atop Tokyo's National Stadium, the Scoreboard flashed one last message: SAYONARA WE MEET AGAIN IN MEXICO CITY, 1968. Darkness fell, the Olympic flame flickered and died. There was nostalgia, but no regret, no fear that reflection would do anything to dim the luster of the XVIII Olympiad. For in 15 wondrous days, 6,600 athletes from 94 nations had tumbled, leaped, twisted, soared and splashed to a kind of special immortality.

In some future Olympics, other athletes would swim faster, jump higher, throw farther; and some day it might not matter any longer that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!