“The Medal of Friendship” Born from Intense Competition 熱戦 から 生まれた 「友情 の メダル」

Shuhei Nishida西田 修平1910 1997Sueo Ooe 大江 季雄1914 1941
There are many stories from behind the scenes of the Olympic Games.
オリンピックには たくさんの秘話があります。

In the Berlin Olympic Games held in August 1936, the final pole vaulting competition was so close that it took over five hours.

Five competitors, including Japanese athletes NISHIDA Shuhei and OOE Sueo were short-listed for this final.

When the bar was lifted to 4.35 meters, only American athlete, Earle MEADOWS succeeded in clearing the bar, winning gold as a result.

To decide the runners up, the bar was lowered to 4.15 meters.

As Japan’s Nishida and Ooe both cleared the bar, they won the second and third place medals.

It was now past nine o’clock at night and the pair was worn out.
夜の9時が過ぎ、二人は疲れて いました。

The temperature continued to drop, adding  to their suffering.

The judges called an end to the competition.

The rules at that time allowed both to be awarded the silver medal.
当時の規則では二人が銀メダル と なります。

However, it was announced that Nishida would take second place and Ooe take third as Nishida had cleared the 4.25 meter bar on his first attempt whereas it had taken Ooe two attempts.

As Nishida had already won a silver medal in the previous Los Angeles Olympic Games, he willingly yielded second place to Ooe, wishing him a promising future.
西田は前回のロサンゼルス大会ですでに銀メダルを獲得して いたので、大江の将来の活躍を願い2位を大江に譲ります。

Nishida admitted the talent of his junior comrade, Ooe and had encouraged him.
西田は後輩の大江の素質を見抜き、励まし続けて きました。

Standing on the second place podium Ooe was so moved that he pledged to try even harder in future.

After returning to Japan, Ooe asked his elder brother to transmit a request to Nishida that they exchange medals, “Because Mr. Nishida was ranked second.”

However, Nishida refused to accept, saying, “I have already won a silver medal.”
しかし、西田は「僕はすでに銀メダル をもらっている」と言い、受け取りません。

Ooe’s brother insisted and Nishida temporarily accepted the proposal. But later he had a talk with Ooe about the matter.
引き下がらない兄に、西田は申し出を一時的に受け取ります が、その後大江と相談します。

The two praised each other and decided to break their silver and bronze medals into two and connect each half to make one medal.

 “The Medal of Friendship” story has been handed down from person to person.
「友情のメダル」物語は人々に語り継がれて きました。
At present Nishida’s medal is exhibited in Waseda University, while Ooe’s is in the Prince Chichibu Memorial Museum (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo).
現在、西田のメダルは早稲田大学に、大江のメダルは秩父宮記念スポーツ博物館(東京・新宿区)に展示されて います。

In February, one year after the Berlin Olympic Games, Ooe defeated Meadows, taking first place at a competition held in the USA.

And later, Ooe cleared 4.35 meters, an achievement which had remained as the Japanese national record for 21 years.

However, unfortunately he died in 1941 during the Second World War.

He lived a short life of only 27-years.

After the war, Nishida became the managing director of the Japan Association of Athletics Federation, and a member of the Japanese Olympic Committee.  

In recognition of his devotion to sport he was awarded the Silver Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee in 1989.

He died at the age of 87 in 1997.

However, “The Medal of Friendship” will shine on forever.
しかし、二人の「友情のメダル」は永遠に輝き続けて います。

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