Thursday, 13 August 2009

Stars of the London Olympics No.2

Harold Sakata
1920 – 1982
United States
One Silver Medal 1948

Our second London Olympian took a silver medal home from the 1948 London Olympic Games – but he remains more famous outside the arena in which he won his medal… on not one but two counts.

Harold Sakata was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and enjoyed fame and fortune principally as a wrestler. The shelves of his trophy cabinet groaned under the weight of gongs won in individual and tag-team wrestling events in both the U.S and Canada.

It was as a wrestler that he came to the attention of movie producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli. Impressed with his build and look, they cast him as the deadly bowler hat-tossing Oddjob in the Bond movie Goldfinger. The role brought him to Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, England in 1964.

He had, however, been to these shores before… in 1948 Harold took the silver medal in the Light Heavyweight division of the weightlifting, losing out on gold to his countryman Stanley Stanczyk. The weightlifting events were staged at Earl’s Court, set to be the venue for the 2012 volleyball. (In a further Olympic/Movie crossover, the London Olympics of 1948 were the first to be filmed in colour.)


A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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