A Brief History of the Opening Ceremonies

Olympics Opening Ceremonies
Keystone / Getty

Tokyo, 1964
The 1964 Summer Games were the first to be held anywhere in Asia. For the torch relay, the flame was carried through several countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The ceremonies, like the Games themselves, were Japan's attempt to show the world how far it had come since World War II, and the choice of their final torchbearer was a deliberate one: Yoshinori Sakai, nicknamed Baby Hiroshima, who was born on Aug. 6, 1945 — the day his city was hit by an atomic bomb.

Get the Latest Photos from Time.com
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.