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Long before American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos made history with their Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics, another poignant image of silent protest was etched into the conscience of Koreans — and largely forgotten everywhere else.

At the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Korean Sohn Kee-chung stood with his head hung, hiding the Rising Sun flag on his chest with a laurel plant as Japan’s national anthem filled the stadium to honor his marathon victory. The moment filled him with “unbearable humiliation,” he recounted in his autobiography, and marked the beginning of an anguished chapter in his life.

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