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Tokyo 1964 Olympic cauldron lighter passes away

Yoshinori Kasai

JAPAN - AUGUST 12: A Japanese Student Yoshinori Sakai Holding The Olympic Flame For The Opening Ceremony Of The Olympic Games Of Tokyo On October 11, 1964. The Ceremony Gathered 7000 Athlets From 94 Nations. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Yoshinori Sakai, the final torch bearer who lit the Tokyo Olympic cauldron in 1964, died Wednesday, according to the Japan Times and other Japanese reports.

Sakai, 69, was a runner but never competed in the Olympics. He was chosen to light the cauldron for symbolism. Sakai was born on Aug. 6, 1945, the day an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Watch Sakai light the 1964 Olympic cauldron at the 22-minute mark of this video.

Sakai later won medals at the 1966 Asian Games and went into a career as a TV journalist.

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