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Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: The Judo Temple Where Muhammad Ali Almost Lost a Leg

Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: The Judo Temple Where Muhammad Ali Almost Lost a Leg

The Budokan was built for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. But the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton have also gone through tatami. Now, the Tokyo 2020 organization has placed recordings with ambient sound in the background to simulate the presence of the public.

General view of the interior of Budokan Stadium on the first day of Olympic Judo.EFE

One of the strangest fights in history took the ring Muhammad Ali You Antonio Inokic. This was in 1976 under special rules in Japan, which are now considered the forerunners of mixed martial arts. A boxer versus a fighter at Tokyo Judo Temple. Heavyweight King vs Martial Arts Champion. Two legends in a stadium, Nippon Budokan, who rose 12 years ago to make their debut at the first Olympic Games the Asian country hosted. It was a battle ahead of time, crazy and revolutionary.

When the two men met face-to-face for the first time, Ali announced that he would be nicknamed Inokic. pelcano Because of its large bullseye shaped chin. The Japanese man looked at her silently and replied through a translator: “When your fist joins my chin, be careful not to break your fist.” The 15-round match ended with Inoki having a broken leg and Ali’s left leg shattered after receiving 64 kicks from the Japanese.

There were no seats left in Budokan that day. Today, Almost all seats are vacant. Forty-five years after that fight, the stadium, famous for celebrating the judo and crate tournaments, is once again one of the venues for the Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020.

The public ban due to the pandemic has one advantage for journalists covering the fighting in Budokan: shouts of encouragement or anger from the coaches are clearly heard. Like blows when judokas fall on tatami. The event of the Games has cast a slight breeze of ambient sound in the background. However, more than simulating the appearance of the public, it looks like an old tape recorded on a beach with no waves at all. Even if one of the press boxes disconnects from the fight for a second and closes his eyes, he can still hear the seagull.

Budokan is accessed by ancient paths leading from the Imperial Palace, which are today covered by all kinds of Olympic material and many sports volunteers who guide accredited journalists through a maze of arrows and obstacles on their way. Yes, everything is very clean in Japanese style.

After a security check and temperature measurement with an infrared thermometer, an octagonal building that simulates a classic Buddhist temple suddenly appears, at its 42 meters high. Inside he was waiting for the Olympic debut of judo.

Spain’s Julia Figueroa (top) fights Turkey’s Gulkadar Centurk in women’s 48kg judo at the 2020 Olympic GamesEFE

Two Spaniards met on Saturday morning, the most fran garriggs (60 kg), sixth in the world ranking, and Córdoba Julia Figueroa In the women’s 48kg modality, she was facing her second Games and took bronze at the last World Cup in Budapest. Julia started the round of 32 very well, winning with an eyepan for Turkey. Gulkadar Centurki. But in the second round he lost to Israel and went home. Shira Rishoni.

Garrigues was also unlucky and lost to the French. luca makhidze In the eighth of men. “Losing in the first round was not what we expected,” lamented the judoka. No Spaniards could make it until late afternoon, where the only national presence was the referee and former judoka. resin camacho. Big favorite for the title, Japanese Naohisa Takato, I met the predictions and won the gold medal in the 60kg category. it was in the lady box Krasniki Distria, representative of the Olympic champion Kosovo.

They are right after the women’s final in Budokan. Any from Canada Bryan Adams, who have already performed that song, live in this stadium in the center of Tokyo. Because this Olympic site also serves as a music temple in the capital of Japan. The first people to pass through here were the Beatles in 1966. The Liverpool band’s performance generated some controversy as Japanese conservatives opposed the stadium giving way to rock music.

“The audience was very subdued,” he recalled. Ringo Starr during an interview. After the Beatles, other stalwarts such as ABBA, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton have also played in Budokan.

During the first Olympic Judo Day, the Algerian did not step on the Budokan Tatmiq. Fethi Naureen, who withdrew from the tournament when he learned that after a draw, he could face Israel in the second round. Tohar BatbuEl Algerian is an ardent defender of the Palestinian cause. Which is why he was clear when he explained the reasons for his return to television in his home country: “I’m not going to get my hands dirty facing Israel.”