Tadayoshi Yokota, Munich Olympic Gold Medalist in Volleyball, Dies at 75

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Japan’s Tadayoshi Yokota plays against the Soviet Union in Tokyo in May 1970.

Tadayoshi Yokota, the men’s volleyball ace who led the Japan team to the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, died on May 9 at the age of 75.

Born in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture, Yokota became a member of the All-Japan volleyball team in 1966 when he was a freshman at Chuo University. He was on the team that took home the silver medal at the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

At the Munich Olympics, despite enduring pain from a chronic back condition, he contributed to Japan’s first gold medal in men’s volleyball with his powerful spikes.

Yokota also participated in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where the men’s team finished fourth.