1956 Summer Olympics
Overview
 
The 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event
Multi-sport event
A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports between organized teams of athletes from nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance was the modern Olympic Games.Many...

 which was held in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, in 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events
Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics
The Equestrian Events at the 1956 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm due to the Australian quarantine regulations and included Dressage, Eventing, and Show Jumping. All three disciplines had both individual and team competitions...

, which could not be held in Australia due to quarantine
Quarantine
Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

 regulations. Instead, those events were held five months earlier in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, marking the second time that events of the same Olympics were held in different countries. (At the 1920 Summer Olympics
1920 Summer Olympics
The 1920 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium....

 in Antwerp, Belgium, one sailing event had been held in Dutch waters because of water quality).
Encyclopedia
The 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event
Multi-sport event
A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports between organized teams of athletes from nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance was the modern Olympic Games.Many...

 which was held in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, in 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events
Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics
The Equestrian Events at the 1956 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm due to the Australian quarantine regulations and included Dressage, Eventing, and Show Jumping. All three disciplines had both individual and team competitions...

, which could not be held in Australia due to quarantine
Quarantine
Quarantine is compulsory isolation, typically to contain the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. The word comes from the Italian quarantena, meaning forty-day period....

 regulations. Instead, those events were held five months earlier in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, marking the second time that events of the same Olympics were held in different countries. (At the 1920 Summer Olympics
1920 Summer Olympics
The 1920 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium....

 in Antwerp, Belgium, one sailing event had been held in Dutch waters because of water quality). The 1956 Games were the first to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

, as well as the first to be held outside Europe and North America.

Host city selection

Melbourne was selected as the host city over bids from Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, Mexico City, and six American cities on 28 April 1949, at the 43rd IOC Session in Rome, Italy.
1956 Summer Olympics bidding results
City Country Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 
 Australia 14 18 19 21
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

 
 Argentina 9 12 13 20
Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 
 United States 5 4 5
Detroit   United States 2 4 4
Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 
 Mexico 9 3
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 
 United States 1
Minneapolis   United States 1
Philadelphia   United States 1
San Francisco   United States 0

Prelude

Many members of the IOC were sceptical about Melbourne as an appropriate site. Its location in the Southern Hemisphere was a major concern, since the reversal of seasons would mean the Games were held during the northern winter. This was thought likely to inconvenience athletes from the Northern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 who were accustomed to resting during their winter.

Melbourne was selected, in 1949, to host the 1956 Olympics by a one-vote margin. The first sign of trouble was the revelation that Australian equine quarantine would prevent the country from hosting the equestrian events. Stockholm was selected as the alternate site, so equestrian competition began on 10 June, five and a half months before the rest of the Olympic games were to open, half the world away.

The problems of the Melbourne Games were compounded by bickering over financing among Australian politicians. Faced with a housing shortage, the Premier of Victoria refused to allocate money for the Olympic Village
Olympic Village
An Olympic Village is an accommodation centre built for an Olympic Games, usually within an Olympic Park or elsewhere in a host city. Olympic Villages are built to house all participating athletes, as well as officials, athletic trainers, and other staff. Since the Munich Massacre at the 1972...

 (eventually sited in Heidelberg West
Heidelberg West, Victoria
Heidelberg West is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km north-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Banyule. At the 2006 Census, Heidelberg West had a population of 5097.-Suburb:...

), and the country's Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

 barred the use of federal funds.

At one point, IOC President Avery Brundage
Avery Brundage
Avery Brundage was an American amateur athlete, sports official, art collector, and philanthropist. Brundage competed in the 1912 Olympics and was the US national all-around athlete in 1914, 1916 and 1918...

 suggested that Rome, which was to host the 1960 Games, was so far ahead of Melbourne in preparations that it might be ready as a replacement site in 1956.

As late as April 1955, Brundage was still doubtful about Melbourne, and was not satisfied by an inspection trip to the city. Construction was well underway by then, thanks to a $4.5 million federal loan to Victoria, but it was behind schedule. He still held out the possibility that Rome might have to step in.

By the beginning of 1956, though, it was obvious that Melbourne would be ready for the Olympics.

Political worries

Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon announced that they would not participate in the Olympics in response to the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 when Egypt was invaded by Israel, the United Kingdom, and France after Egypt nationalised the Suez canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

. Meanwhile, in 1956 the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 crushed the Hungarian Revolution, and the Soviet presence at the Games led to the withdrawal of the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

Less than two weeks before the 22 November opening ceremony, the People's Republic of China chose to boycott the event because the Republic of China had been allowed to compete under the name "Formosa".

Although the number of countries participating (67) was almost the same as in 1952 (69), the number of athletes competing dropped sharply, from 4,925 to 3,342. (This figure does not include the 158 athletes from 29 countries who took part in the Stockholm equestrian competition.)

Events

Once underway, the Games unfolded smoothly, and became known as the "Friendly Games". Betty Cuthbert
Betty Cuthbert
Elizabeth Cuthbert AM, MBE is an Australian athlete, and a fourfold Olympic champion....

, an 18-year-old from Sydney, won the 100- and 200-metre dashes and ran a great final leg in the 4 x 100-metre relay to overcome Great Britain's lead and claim her third gold medal. The veteran Shirley Strickland
Shirley Strickland
Shirley Barbara Strickland AO, MBE , later Shirley de la Hunty, was an Australian athlete. She won more Olympic medals than any other Australian in running sports.-Family:...

 repeated in the 80-metre hurdles and also ran on the relay team, running her career total to seven, three golds, a silver, and three bronze medals.

But it was in swimming that the Australians really shone. They won all of the freestyle races, men's and women's, and collected a total of eight gold, four silver and two bronze medals. Murray Rose
Murray Rose
Iain Murray Rose AM was born on 6 January 1939 in Nairn, Scotland, but he moved to Australia with his family at an early age after World War II. He took up swimming as a boy and was an Olympic Games champion at age 17....

 became the first male swimmer to win two freestyle events since Johnny Weissmuller
Johnny Weissmuller
Johnny Weissmuller was an Austro-Hungarian-born American swimmer and actor best known for playing Tarzan in movies. Weissmuller was one of the world's best swimmers in the 1920s, winning five Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal. He won fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven...

 in 1924, while Dawn Fraser
Dawn Fraser
Dawn Fraser AO, MBE is an Australian champion swimmer. She is one of only two swimmers to win the same Olympic event three times – in her case the 100 meters freestyle....

 won gold medals in the 100-metre freestyle and as the leadoff swimmer on the 4 x 100-metre relay team.

Controversial judging prevented the United States from winning all four diving events, which had become almost customary. Pat McCormick
Pat McCormick (diver)
Patricia Joan McCormick is a retired female diver from the United States, who won a total number of four gold medals by winning both diving events at two consecutive Summer Olympics ....

 again took gold medals in both the springboard and the platform, and Bob Clotworthy
Bob Clotworthy
Robert Lynn Clotworthy was a diver from the United States, who represented his native country at two consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1952...

 won the men's springboard. However, Gary Tobian was given unusually low scores by the Soviet and Hungarian judges, and he finished second by just .03 to Mexico's Joaquim Capilla in the platform event.

United States men dominated track and field. They not only won 15 of 24 events, they swept four of them and finished first and second in five others. Bobby Morrow led the way with gold medals in the 100- and 200-metre dashes and the 4 x 100-metre relay. Tom Courtney
Tom Courtney
Thomas William Courtney is a former American athlete, winner of two gold medals at the 1956 Summer Olympics....

 barely overtook Great Britain's Derek Johnson
Derek Johnson
Derek Johnson was a British athlete, who was born in Chigwell, Essex. He did his National Service in Egypt before going up to Lincoln College, Oxford to read medicine in 1953...

 in the 800-metre run, then collapsed from the exertion and needed medical attention.

Vladimir Kuts
Vladimir Kuts
Vladimir Petrovich Kuts was a Soviet long distance runner. He is alternatively known as Volodymyr Kuts, the Ukrainian spelling, as Kuts was born in Aleksino, which is in present-day Ukraine....

 of the Soviet Union ran away from his competition in the 5,000- and 10,000-metre runs, while Ireland's Ron Delaney ran a brilliant 53.8 over the last 400 metres to win the 1,500-metre run, in which favourite John Landy
John Landy
John Michael Landy, AC, CVO, MBE is an Australian former Olympic track athlete. He was the second man to break the four-minute mile barrier in the mile run, and he held the world records for the 1500 metre run and the mile race...

 of Australia finished third.

There was a major upset, marred briefly by controversy, in the 3,000-metre steeplechase. Little-known Chris Brasher
Chris Brasher
Christopher William "Chris" Brasher CBE was a British athlete, sports journalist and co-founder of the London Marathon.-History:...

 of Great Britain finished well ahead of the field, but judges announced that he was disqualified for interfering with Norway's Ernst Larsen
Ernst Larsen
Ernst Larsen was a Norwegian athlete, who competed mainly in the 3000 metre steeplechase. He represented Ranheim IL....

, and they anointed Sándor Rozsnyói
Sándor Rozsnyói
Sándor Rozsnyói was a Hungarian athlete, who mainly competed in the 3000 metre steeple chase.He competed for Hungary at the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia, where he won the silver medal in the men's 3.000m steeplechase.Rozsnyoi remained in Australia after the Olympics rather...

 of Hungary as the winner. Brasher's appeal, remarkably, was supported by Larsen, Rozsnyói, and fourth-place finisher Heinz Laufer of Germany. The decision was reversed and Brasher became the first Briton to win a gold medal in track and field since 1936.

Only two world records were set in track and field. Mildred McDaniel
Mildred McDaniel
Millie "Tex" McDaniel-Singleton was an American athlete, who competed mainly in the women's high jump event during her career....

, the first American woman to win gold in the sport, set a high jump record of 5 foot and Egil Danielsen of Norway overcame a troublesome wind with a remarkable javelin throw of 281 foot.

Throughout the Olympics, Hungarian athletes were cheered by fans from Australia and other countries. Many of them gathered in the boxing arena when thirty-year-old Laszlo Papp
László Papp
László Papp was a Hungarian boxer, born in Budapest. A southpaw, he won gold medals in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, and the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia...

 of Hungary won his third gold medal by beating José Torres
José Torres
José Torres , was a Puerto Rican professional boxer. As an amateur boxer, he won a silver medal in the junior middleweight at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. In 1965, he defeated Willie Pastrano to win the WBC and WBA light heavyweight championships...

 for the light-middleweight championship.

A few days later, the crowd was with the Hungarian water polo team in its match against the Soviet Union which became known as the Blood In The Water match
Blood In The Water match
The "Blood in the Water" match was a water polo match between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The match, which took place on December 6, 1956, was against the background of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and saw Hungary defeat the USSR 4–0...

. The game became rough and, when a Hungarian was forced to leave the pool with blood streaming from a cut over his eye, a riot almost broke out. But police restored order and the game was called early, with Hungary leading 4–0. The Hungarians went on to win the gold medal.

Despite the international tensions of 1956 – or perhaps because of them – a young Melburnian, John Ian Wing
John Ian Wing
John Ian Wing is a British resident of Chinese descent.Born in Windsor, Melbourne, his mother died when he was a few days old. His father placed him in the Melbourne Children's Home and he remained there for several years. When his father remarried he was removed from the Home and sent back to his...

, came up with a new idea for the closing ceremony. Instead of marching as teams, behind their national flags, the athletes mingled with one another as they paraded into and around the arena for a final appearance before the spectators. That began an Olympic tradition that has been followed ever since.

Highlights

  • Hungary and the Soviet Union
    Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

     were both present at the Games which, among other things, led to a hotly contested and violent water polo encounter
    Blood In The Water match
    The "Blood in the Water" match was a water polo match between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The match, which took place on December 6, 1956, was against the background of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and saw Hungary defeat the USSR 4–0...

     between the nations.
  • Athletes from both East and West Germany competed in a combined team
    United Team of Germany
    The Unified Team of Germany , competed in the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Winter and Summer Olympic Games as a united team of athletes from the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic...

    . This remarkable combination would disappear at the 1968 Summer Olympics
    1968 Summer Olympics
    The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Mexico City, Mexico in October 1968. The 1968 Games were the first Olympic Games hosted by a developing country, and the first Games hosted by a Spanish-speaking country...

    .
  • Australian athlete Betty Cuthbert
    Betty Cuthbert
    Elizabeth Cuthbert AM, MBE is an Australian athlete, and a fourfold Olympic champion....

     became the "Golden Girl" by winning three track gold medals. Her performance was equalled by sprinter Bobby Morrow.
  • Another Australian, Murray Rose
    Murray Rose
    Iain Murray Rose AM was born on 6 January 1939 in Nairn, Scotland, but he moved to Australia with his family at an early age after World War II. He took up swimming as a boy and was an Olympic Games champion at age 17....

    , won three gold medals in swimming.
  • Soviet
    USSR at the Summer Olympics
    The Soviet Union first participated at the Olympic Games in 1952, and competed at the Games on 18 occasions since then. At seven of its nine appearances at the Summer Olympic Games, the team ranked first in the total number of medals won, it was second by this count on the other two...

     runner Vladimir Kuts
    Vladimir Kuts
    Vladimir Petrovich Kuts was a Soviet long distance runner. He is alternatively known as Volodymyr Kuts, the Ukrainian spelling, as Kuts was born in Aleksino, which is in present-day Ukraine....

     won both the 5000m and 10000m.
  • Inspired by Australian teenager John Wing
    John Ian Wing
    John Ian Wing is a British resident of Chinese descent.Born in Windsor, Melbourne, his mother died when he was a few days old. His father placed him in the Melbourne Children's Home and he remained there for several years. When his father remarried he was removed from the Home and sent back to his...

    , an Olympic tradition began when athletes of different nations are allowed to parade together at the closing ceremony, instead of with their national teams, as a symbol of world unity.
During the Games there will be only one nation. War, politics and nationalities will be forgotten. What more could anybody want if the world could be made one nation.
—Extract from a letter by John Ian Wing to the Olympic organisers, 1956
  • Laszlo Papp
    László Papp
    László Papp was a Hungarian boxer, born in Budapest. A southpaw, he won gold medals in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, and the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia...

     defended his light-middleweight boxing title, gaining an unprecedented third gold.
  • Ronnie Delany wins gold for Ireland in the 1500m final. It is the last gold medal Ireland have won in a track event.
  • The India national field hockey team
    India national field hockey team
    The India national field hockey team is the national men's team representing field hockey in India. It is the first non-European team to be a part of the International Hockey Federation....

     won its sixth consecutive gold

Olympic Flame Relay

The Olympic Flame
Olympic Flame
The Olympic Flame or Olympic Torch is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928...

 was relayed to Melbourne after being lit at Olympia on 2 November 1956.
  • Greek runners took the flame to Athens
    Athens
    Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

    .
  • The flame was transferred to a miner's lamp then flown by Qantas
    Qantas
    Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

     Super Constellation aircraft "Southern Horizon" to Darwin, Northern Territory
    Darwin, Northern Territory
    Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

    .
  • A Royal Australian Air Force
    Royal Australian Air Force
    The Royal Australian Air Force is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps , which was formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts...

     English Electric Canberra
    English Electric Canberra
    The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

     jet bomber flew it to Cairns, Queensland
    Cairns, Queensland
    Cairns is a regional city in Far North Queensland, Australia, founded 1876. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns, then-current Governor of Queensland. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was...

     where it arrived on 9 November 1956.
  • The Mayor of Cairns, Alderman W.J. Fulton, lit the first torch.
  • The first runner was Con Verevis, a local man of Greek parentage.
  • The flame was relayed down the east coast of Australia using diecast aluminium torches weighing about 3 pounds (1.8 kg).
  • The flame arrived in Melbourne on 22 November 1956.
  • The Olympic Flame was lit at the stadium by Ron Clarke
    Ron Clarke
    Ronald William "Ron" Clarke, MBE is a former Australian athlete, writer, and current Mayor of the Gold Coast. He is one of the best known middle and long distance runners in the 1960s, notable for setting seventeen world records.- Early life and family :He attended Melbourne High School...

    .


When the Olympic Flame was being carried to Sydney, an Australian veterinary student
Veterinary surgeon
Veterinary surgeon is a term used to describe:*The full title of a vet, who treats disease, disorder and injury in animals, in the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth countries**See also Veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom...

 named Barry Larkin
Barry Larkin (Olympics)
Barry Larkin was a veterinary surgeon from Melbourne, Australia who performed a hoax during the 1956 Summer Olympics where he pretended to be running with the Olympic Flame.-Hoax:...

 carried a fake Olympic Flame and fooled the mayor of Sydney.

Medals awarded

See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
  • Athletics
    Athletics at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, 33 athletics events were contested, 24 for men and 9 for women. There were a total number of 720 participating athletes from 61 countries.-Men's events:-Women's events:-Medal table:-References:**...

  • Basketball
    Basketball at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    Basketball at the 1956 Summer Olympics was the fourth appearance of the sport in Olympic competition. Fifteen nations, an unusually low number for the basketball tournament, competed in the event, with 174 participants. A total number of 56 games of basketball were played.The teams were divided...

  • Boxing
    Boxing at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    Boxing at the 1956 Summer Olympics took place in the new stadium at West Melbourne. A total number of 164 competitors entered from 35 nations, of whom 161 from 34 nations weighed-in and boxing was held eight nights and five afternoons. The boxing schedule began on November 23 and ended on December 1...

  • Canoeing
    Canoeing at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, nine events in sprint canoe racing were contested. The program was unchanged from the previous two Games in 1948 and 1952. The competition was held on Lake Wendouree in Ballarat.-Men's events:...

  • Cycling
    Cycling at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    The cycling competition at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne consisted of two road cycling events and four track cycling events, all for men only.-Medal table:-Medal summary:...

  • Diving
    Diving at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, four diving events were contested.-Medal summary:The events are labelled as 3 metre springboard and 10 metre platform by the International Olympic Committee, and appeared on the 1956 Official Report as springboard diving and high diving,...

  • Equestrian
    Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    The Equestrian Events at the 1956 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm due to the Australian quarantine regulations and included Dressage, Eventing, and Show Jumping. All three disciplines had both individual and team competitions...

  • Fencing
    Fencing at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics, seven fencing events were contested, six for men and one for women.-Medal summary:-Medal table:-Participating nations:A total of 165 fencers from 23 nations competed at the Melbourne Games:...

  • Football
    Football at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    The 1956 Olympic Games football tournament with just 11 competing nations suffered from cancellations. It was an undistinguished tournament that featured mis-matches and walkovers.-Background:...

  • Gymnastics
    Gymnastics at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    Gymnastics at the 1956 Summer Olympics was represented by 15 events: 7 for women and 8 for men. All events were held at the West Melbourne Stadium between December 3 and December 7...

  • Hockey
  • Modern pentathlon
    Modern pentathlon at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, two events in modern pentathlon were contested.-Medal summary:-Medal table:...

  • Rowing
    Rowing at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    Rowing at the 1956 Summer Olympics featured 7 events, for men only. The competitions were held from November 23, 1956 to November 27, 1956 on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat Australia.-Medal summary:-Medal table:-References:*...

  • Sailing
    Sailing at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    Sailing/Yachting is a Olympic sport starting from the Games of the 1st Olympiad Sailing/Yachting is a Olympic sport starting from the Games of the 1st Olympiad Sailing/Yachting is a Olympic sport starting from the Games of the 1st Olympiad (1896 Olympics in Greece. With the exception of 1904 and...

  • Shooting
    Shooting at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, seven events in shooting were contested, all for men only.-Medal summary:-Medal table:...

  • Swimming
    Swimming at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, 13 swimming events were contested, seven for men and six for women. There was a total of 235 participants from 33 countries competing. For the first time, the butterfly stroke was contested as a separate event...

  • Water polo
    Water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    Ten nations competed in water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. The event was open only to men's teams.-Medallists:-Results:For the team rosters see: Water polo at the 1956 Summer Olympics - Men's team squads.-Preliminary round:...

  • Weightlifting
    Weightlifting at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    The weightlifting competition at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne consisted of seven weight classes, all for men only.-Medal summary:-Medal table:-References:...

  • Wrestling
    Wrestling at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    At the 1956 Summer Olympics, 16 wrestling events were contested, all for men. There were eight weight classes in Greco-Roman wrestling and eight classes in freestyle wrestling.- Greco-Roman:-Freestyle:-See also:...


  • Demonstration sports

    • Australian Football
      Australian football at the 1956 Summer Olympics
      Australian football was one of two demonstration sports at the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia. The rules stated that the hosts must organize both a native game and a sport foreign to the organizing country as "demonstration sports"....

    • Baseball
      Baseball at the 1956 Summer Olympics
      Baseball was again a demonstration sport at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. Though it was nominally the "foreign" demonstration sport of that Olympiad, Australia had a long history of baseball dating back to at least 1889...


    Venues

    Melbourne
    • Broadmeadows
      Broadmeadows, Victoria
      Broadmeadows is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 16 km north from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Hume...

       – Cycling (road)
    • Hockey Field – Field hockey
    • Lake Wendouree
      Lake Wendouree
      Lake Wendouree is an artificially-created and maintained shallow urban lake located in the suburb of the same name in the city of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia...

       – Canoeing, Rowing
    • Melbourne Cricket Ground
      Melbourne Cricket Ground
      The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

       – Athletics, Field hockey (final), Football (final)
    • Oaklands Hunt Club
      Oaklands Hunt Club
      The Oaklands Hunt Club is a sports club located in the Broadmeadows, Victoria near Melbourne, Australia. For the 1956 Summer Olympics, it hosted the riding and running parts of the modern pentathlon event....

       – Modern pentathlon (riding, running)
    • Olympic Park Stadium
      Olympic Park Stadium
      Olympic Park Stadium was a multi-purpose outdoor stadium located on Olympic Boulevard in inner Melbourne. The stadium was built as an athletics training venue for the 1956 Olympics, a short distance from the MCG, which served as the Olympic Stadium...

       – Football
    • Port Phillip
      Port Phillip
      Port Phillip Port Phillip Port Phillip (also commonly referred to as Port Phillip Bay or (locally) just The Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia; it is the location of Melbourne. Geographically, the bay covers and the shore stretches roughly . Although it is extremely shallow for...

       – Sailing
    • Royal Australian Air Foce, Laverton Air Base
      RAAF Williams
      RAAF Williams comprises the two bases of Point Cook and Laverton. Both establishments previously existed as separate RAAF Bases until 1999 when they were amalgamated to form RAAF Williams...

       – Shooting (shotgun)
    • Royal Exhibition Building
      Royal Exhibition Building
      The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, completed in 1880. It is located at 9 Nicholson Street in the Carlton Gardens, flanked by Victoria, Nicholson, Carlton and Rathdowne Streets, at the north-eastern edge of the central business district...

       – Basketball (final), Modern pentathlon (fencing), Weightlifting, Wrestling
    • St Kilda Town Hall
      St Kilda Town Hall
      St Kilda Town Hall is a city hall in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia.-Architecture:The design by local architect William Pitt in the Classical Revival style. It was built in 1890. Pitt's grand vision for the town hall was never completed...

       – Fencing
    • Swimming/Diving Stadium – Diving, Modern pentathlon (swimming), Swimming, Water polo
    • Velodrome – Cycling (track)
    • West Melbourne Stadium
      Festival Hall, Melbourne
      Festival Hall is a concert and sporting venue, located at 300 Dudley Street, West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is one of Melbourne's larger concert venues and has hosted a variety of local and international acts over many years....

       – Basketball, Boxing, Gymnastics
    • Williamstown
      Williamstown, Victoria
      Williamstown is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 8 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Hobsons Bay. At the 2006 Census, Williamstown had a population of 12,733....

       – Modern pentathlon (shooting), Shooting (pistol, rifle)


    Stockholm
    • Lill-Jansskogen
      Lill-Jansskogen
      Lill-Janskogen, , is a park in Stockholm, Sweden. It is located on northern Djurgården and is a popular area for recreational activities....

       – Equestrian (eventing)
    • Olympic Stadium – Equestrian (dressage, eventing, jumping)
    • Ulriksdal
      Ulriksdal dirt course
      The Ulriksdal dirt course was a course located 6 km north of Stockholm, Sweden at Ulriksdal. It hosted part of the cross-country portion of the eventing competition for the equestrian events at the 1956 Summer Olympics.-Reference:* p. 96....

        – Equestrian (eventing)

    Participating nations

    A total of 67 nations competed in Melbourne. Ethiopia, Fiji, Kenya, Liberia, Federation of Malaya
    Federation of Malaya
    The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

    , North Borneo
    North Borneo
    North Borneo was a British protectorate under the sovereign North Borneo Chartered Company from 1882 to 1946. After the war it became a crown colony of Great Britain from 1946 to 1963, known in this time as British North Borneo. It is located on the northeastern end of the island of Borneo. It is...

     (modern-day Sabah
    Sabah
    Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

     of Malaysia), and Uganda made their Olympic debut. Athletes from East Germany
    German Democratic Republic
    The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

     and West Germany
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

     competed together as the United Team of Germany
    United Team of Germany
    The Unified Team of Germany , competed in the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Winter and Summer Olympic Games as a united team of athletes from the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic...

    , an arrangement that would last until 1968.

    For the first time the team of Republic of China effectively represented only Taiwan.

    Five nations competed in the equestrian events
    Equestrian at the 1956 Summer Olympics
    The Equestrian Events at the 1956 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm due to the Australian quarantine regulations and included Dressage, Eventing, and Show Jumping. All three disciplines had both individual and team competitions...

     in Stockholm, but did not attend the Games in Melbourne:
    Egypt did not compete in Melbourne due to the Suez Crisis
    Suez Crisis
    The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

    , whilst Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland all boycotted the Australian event in protest at the Soviet invasion of Hungary.

    Medal count

    These are the top ten nations that won medals at these Games.
    1 37 29 32 98
    2 32 25 17 74
    3 13 8 14 35
    4 9 10 7 26
    5 8 8 9 25
    6 8 5 6 19
    7 6 13 7 26
    8 6 7 11 24
    9 5 3 5 13
    10 4 10 5 19


    Buildings from the Olympics

    The Olympics left Melbourne with some landmark buildings. The Olympic Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
    Melbourne Cricket Ground
    The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

     was demolished in 2004. However, the former Olympic Pool remains as part of the Westpac Centre at the Olympic Park complex
    Olympic Park, Melbourne
    The Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct is a series of sports venues and stadia, located in Melbourne, Victoria, in Australia. The precinct is situated around 3 km east of the Melbourne city centre, between the suburbs of East Melbourne and Richmond, and close to the north-eastern bank of...

    . The former athlete's village in Heidelberg West, Victoria
    Heidelberg West, Victoria
    Heidelberg West is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km north-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Banyule. At the 2006 Census, Heidelberg West had a population of 5097.-Suburb:...

    remains as public housing. St Kilda Town Hall, where the fencing events were held, also still remains.

    External links

    }}
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