Sunday, 20 June 2021

spirit of the games

Featured in part in Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary Olympia, we learn from Futility Closet second-place winner of the 1932 Los Angeles pole vault competition for the Japanese national team, Shuhei Nishida (西田 修平) repeated the feat during the 1936 games held in Berlin but tying by overall scores with his teammate and friend Sueo Ōe (大江 季雄). When the two declined to compete further against one another to end the stalemate, the decision was up to the team, who awarded Nishida the silver and Ōe the bronze (see also) as the former cleared the height, an impressive and record-setting four metres and fifteen centimetres, in fewer attempts. Once back home, the pair had their medals cut in half and then spliced together by a jeweller as unique friendship medals, alloyed half bronze, half silver.