WASEDA WEEKLY

Medal of Friendship Donated to Waseda University
-- A donation ceremony for Syuhei Nishida --


What is "The Medal of Friendship" ?

The Medal of Friendship (bronze on the right, silver on the left)
The Medal of Friendship is a famous story from the Berlin Olympic Games. In the pole vault, there was a fierce competition for second place between Nishida and Oe, from Keio University. Nishida was finally awarded the silver medal after a five-hour competition that ended under artificial lights. Afterwards, Nishida and Oe had their medals cut in half and joined together, making two medals that are half silver and half bronze. This was the “Medal of Friendship”.
Ms. Amano donating the Medal of Friendship
Ms. Amano donating the Medal of Friendship
Mr. Nishida (right) and Mr. Oe
Mr. Nishida (right) and Mr. Oe

On 21 June, a donation ceremony for materials formerly in the possession of Syuhei Nishida was held in Okuma Kaikan at Waseda University. The donations were made by Nishida's eldest daughter, Kiyoko Amano, and included silver medals from the Los Angeles and Berlin Olympic Games and other precious materials. The donations will be exhibited at the Aizu Yaichi Memorial Museum starting on July 17th (details below).

Mr. Nishida was born in Wakayama Prefecture. At the age of 18 he came to Tokyo where he graduated from the Waseda School of Engineering and Science, department of Mechanical Engineering. He had participated in gymnastic contests since he was a middle school student back in Wakayama Prefecture, and he scored five straight victories in the pole vault in the Japan Students Championships and seven victories in that event in the All Japan Track and Field Championships. As for the Olympics, he is well known for the “Medal of Friendship” anecdote at the Berlin Games (1936) (see below), but before this, he took the gold medal in the 4th International Students Games (1930) and the silver medal at the Los Angeles Olympics (1932). After retiring from the front lines of competition, he continued to exert himself into the world of sports and in 1986 was the third person to be awarded Waseda's Distinguished Service Sports Medal.

Ms. Amano spoke in the following way of her intentions in making the donation. “We had these medals in a glass case at home, but I would like the students of the university where my father studied to see them”. For this reason she donated these medals through Nihon Rikuren (Japan Association of Athletics Federations). She also said, “My father was strict with himself but kind to others. He was also a man who put a lot of effort into whatever he did. I would like to see Olympic athletes come out of Waseda with these medals as inspiration. Also, I hope that the world will become a brighter place by constructing peace and friendship on the model of the ‘Medal of Friendship’”. The Medal of Friendship is a famous story from the Berlin Olympic Games. In the pole vault, there was a fierce competition for second place between Nishida and Oe, from Keio University. Nishida was finally awarded the silver medal after a five-hour competition that ended under artificial lights. Afterwards, Nishida and Oe had their medals cut in half and joined together, making two medals that are half silver and half bronze. This was the “Medal of Friendship”.

What is "The Distinguished Service Sports Medal"?

The Distinguished Service Sports Medal was established in commemoration of Waseda's 100th anniversary in 1982 to recognize alumni who have made extraordinary contributions to the promotion of sports. Those who have contributed to the world of sports over a long period and in addition have placed at least third at the Olympics or world championships or have set a world record are eligible for consideration.


Copyright (C) 2005 Student Affairs Division, WASEDA University. All rights reserved.
First drafted 2005 July 21.