Few paid much attention when Mikio Oda won Japan’s first Olympic gold medal — and Asia’s first individual gold medal — way back at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
There was no podium ceremony. That protocol was introduced in 1932 at the Winter Games in Lake Placid and the Summer Games in Los Angeles. The medals prior to this were handed over at the end of the games, in this case by Dutch Queen Wilhelmina.
Oda missed out. He’d already left for Paris to compete in another international meet. Such was the stature of the Olympics back then.
They did have a flag-raising ceremony when he won the triple jump, known then as the “hop, skip and jump” or “hop, step and jump.” Only one problem: officials, it seems,