Volleyball, Syncom 3 and the Summer Games!

Posted by on June 5, 2008

The year following the assassination of JFK promised to be no quieter nor any less historical in nature. In January 1964, the Beatles released their first album here in America and the famous game show Jeopardy debuted in March of that same year. The storm clouds over Vietnam had started to rumble already and the Soviets shot down an American jet over East Germany.


The bright spot, however, was the Olympics, with the Winter Games being held in Austria and the Summer Games scheduled for Japan. The Summer Games approached with a sense of history as Japan had forfeited the right to the games in 1940 (war with China).

The rapid transformation of technology promised great changes in publicity for the Summer Games, as Syncom 3 sent transmissions of the events back to the United States, being the “…first television program to cross the Pacific Ocean….”


New events at the games included judo and volleyball. On the medals won list, the distribution was widely spread, with the United States winning 36 gold, 26 silver, and 28 bronze. The next runner ups included the Soviet Union, Japan, and Germany. Of the new sports, Japan came in the winner in volleyball, winning the gold.The Soviet athelete Larissa Latynina won quite a few more, becoming the champion of Olympic medals with a total of 18!

With a total of 90+ nations participating, the 1964 Summer Olympics was a bright spot in the year, with the fall and winter starting to be consumed by the upcoming conflict growing in Vietnam.

I’ve assembled some links below, both to articles and media on the Summer Olympics. If you have a few minutes, drop by the sites and take a look. You might end up with some great facts that you wouldn’t know otherwise…..
Have a great day, see you soon!


Official Olympic Site of the 1964 Olympics

Wikipedia: 1964 Summer Olympics

Wikipedia: 1964 Summer Olympics Medal Count

Syncom 3 Satellite information page (NASA)

Beatles in America, 1964

Archive.org (Newsreel of Summer Games)


(1)Yoyogi_Gymnasium, courtesy Wikipedia and Joe Jones

(2) Nasa, Syncom series of satellites


Comments are closed.