Hansen recalls last Tokyo Olympics
By Robert Proctor
The Cuero Record
Over half-a-century after Cuero’s champion, Fred Hansen, won at the 1964 Summer Olympics, the Games were scheduled to return to Tokyo, Japan. Like so many events around the world, though, the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the postponement of this international competition until next summer.
It was a decision that made perfect sense to Hansen.
“They’ve postponed it, which they should do,” he said. “I was wondering how they were going to do that. Thank goodness they did. All these guys have worked so hard to make the Olympic team.”
Despite having to wait another year for the official of the Olympics to the site of Hansen’s pole vaulting triumph, it still seemed fitting to remember an unforgettable accomplishment.
One of about 350 Americans on the 1964 team, Hansen recalls well that evening where he not only became an Olympic champion but set the Olympic Record, which stood until 1972. Significantly, it was the duration which was astounding.
“Our competition lasted nine hours, almost 10 hours, unusually long,” Hansen recalled. “Usually, a vaulting competition lasts two or three hours, four hours maybe.”
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