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Celebrate Olympic Day With The Pasadena Senior Center

Published on Jun 21, 2021

The Pasadena Senior Center is hosting an online event on Tuesday, June 22, which celebrates Olympic Day with a look back at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games from the perspective of the athletes.

Olympic Day was first celebrated on June 23, 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympics in Paris where the International Olympic Committee was founded on June 23, 1894, reviving the ancient Greek Olympic Games. Olympic Day now leans on its three pillars — move, learn and discover — and is celebrated around the world to promote participation in sports regardless of age, gender and athletic abilities.

Starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday, the online event, presented by the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC) and NBC Bay Area, will feature NBC newscaster Raj Mathai, a 12-time Emmy Award winner and Olympic expert, as he moderates a panel discussion with three athletes who participated in the 1964 Olympics: swimmer Donna De Varona, runner Billy Mills, and canoeist Andy Toro.

Donna De Varona set over a dozen world and American records and swam in two Olympic Games (including Tokyo in 1964) before retiring as a competitive swimmer at age 17. She became an important sports broadcaster and advocate for women in sports, helping Billie Jean King to found the influential Women’s Sports Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and has won numerous awards and honors.

Billy Mills burst onto the Olympic stage at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, coming from relative obscurity to win a gold medal in the 10,000 meters. A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, Mills was the first non-European to win that event. He continued to set records during his running career and became a powerful advocate for health and wellness.

András (Andy) Töro competed in four Summer Olympics in canoe. He was originally from Hungary and defected at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Coming to the United States, he continued his Olympic career as an American and pursued a career as a naval architect and marine engineer.

To register for Tuesday’s event, visit this link.

For more information, call Annie Laskey at the Senior Center, (626) 685-6759, or email

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