The Olympic Village, which covered an area of 81 hectares, accommodated 7,000 athletes. The village consisted of 12 four-storey houses for women and 250 two-storey homes for men. The women’s and men’s accommodation areas were separated by a fence. In the village, the athletes had access to standard municipal services: a theatre, canteens, cinema, a hospital, bank, post office, and department stores. The complex originally served as accommodation for the American occupation troops.
The Japanese chose bicycles as a means of transport around the Olympic Village. A thousand bicycles were provided for the Olympians. In this pervasive complex, everyone rode them: to eat, shop, to the sports fields, to the cinema, to a club – just everywhere. Many of the bicycles, initially used by the relatively light Japanese, could not withstand the load of 100kg+ wrestlers or basketball players, and their frequent use led to breakdowns.
Every night, therefore, cars with mechanics drove through the village collecting, inspecting, repairing and adjusting all the bikes. By morning time the bikes all over the village were ready for further use again. The athletes were transported to the individual sports fields by buses that ran according to particular schedules.
Photos in this collection provided by the Czech Olympic Committee, Estonian Sport and Olympic Museum, Slovenian Olympic Committee, Portuguese Olympic Academy and NOC*NSF (Dutch Olympic Committee)