Thursday, June 21, 2012

Olympic Cities Distance Quiz (2 of 6)- Los Angeles to Tokyo

As the world gets ready for the 2012 London Olympics, we take a look at the distances between cities which have previously hosted the games. One thing we learned while putting this together is that Detroit tried many times to get the games, but they were unable to land them.

Los Angeles has had considerably more luck as they have hosted the 1932 Olympics and the 1984 Olympics.

Tokyo, Japan, was supposed to get the 1940 put an invasion of China sent the games to Helsinki, Finland. But, they were able to secure the games in 1964, becoming the first Asian country to host the Olympics. In more recent years, South Korea and China have hosted them as well.

There is an amazing contrast in the amount of international athletes who competed in each of the games. In 1964, they were athletes from 93 countries in Tokyo. 20 years later, in spite of a boycott from the Soviet Union, eastern block countries (except Romania and the now nonexistent Yugoslavia) and Cuba, athletes from 140 countries came to southern California.

In Tokyo, judo and women's volleyball become Olympic sports. Among the highlights in Japan were Soviet gymnast Larisa Latyrynina, a Ukrainian who is now 77, won two golds, a silver and two bronze medals. While Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila (1932-1973) won a second consecutive gold medal. For the Americans, recently deceased boxer Joe Frazier (1944-2011) won gold as a heavyweight in boxing.

In L.A., synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics debuted in the games where American gymnast Mary Lou Retton, now 44, won a gold in the all-around competition as well as a team silver and a silver on the vault. Carl Lewis won four gold medals in track. And, a barefoot runner from South Africa named Zola Budd, who competed for the United Kingdom, collided with American runner Mary Slaney*, who was wearing shoes, in a highly controversial and dubious 3,000 meter relay. Thus, many people have forgotten that Romanian runner Maricica Puica actually won the race.

So, what is the distance in miles between Los Angeles and Tokyo....

Is the answer:

A) 5,351 miles

B) 5,451 miles

C) 5,556 miles

D) 5,701 miles

PICTURED: A sumo wrestler and Sam the Eagle, who was the official mascot of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

*-Mary Slaney is now known as Mary Decker

SIDEBAR: As for the answer to our tv quiz entry from yesterday, "M*A*S*H" ran for 251 episodes.

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