|Host city||Melbourne, Australia / Stockholm, Sweden|
|Athletes||3,314 (2,938 men, 376 women)|
|Events||151 in 17 sports (23 disciplines)|
|Opening||22 November 1956|
|Closing||8 December 1956|
|Stadium||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Part of a series on|
The 1956 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, from 22 November to 8 December 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which were held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1956.
These Games were the first to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania, as well as the first to be held outside Europe and North America. Melbourne is the most southerly city ever to host the Olympics. Due to the Southern Hemisphere's seasons being different from those in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1956 Games did not take place at the usual time of year, because of the need to hold the events during the warmer weather of the host's spring/summer (which corresponds to the Northern Hemisphere's autumn/winter), resulting in the only summer games ever to be held in November and December. Australia did not host the Games again until 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, and will host them again in 2032 in Brisbane, Queensland.
The Olympic equestrian events could not be held in Melbourne due to Australia's strict quarantine regulations,so they were held in Stockholm five months earlier. This was the second time the Olympics were not held entirely in one country, the first being the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, with some events taking place in Ostend, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Despite uncertainties and various complications encountered during the preparations, the 1956 Games went ahead in Melbourne as planned and turned out to be a success. Started during the 1956 Games was the "Parade of Athletes" at the closing ceremonies.
Eight teams boycotted the Games for various reasons.Four teams (Egypt, Iraq, Cambodia and Lebanon) boycotted in response to the Suez Crisis, in which Egypt was invaded by Israel, France and the United Kingdom. Three teams (the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland) boycotted in response to the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and China's boycott was in response to the presence of the Republic of China.
The Soviet Union won the most gold medals, and the most medals overall.
One of the most notable events of the games was a controversial water polo match between the Soviet Union and the defending champions, Hungary. The Soviet Union had recently suppressed an anti-communist revolution in Hungary and violence broke out between the teams during the match, resulting in numerous injuries. When Ervin Zádor suffered bleeding after being punched by Valentin Prokopov, spectators attempted to join the violence, but they were blocked by police. The match was cancelled, with Hungary being declared the winner because they were in the lead.
Melbourne was selected as the host city over bids from Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Montreal, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco at the 43rd IOC Session in Rome, Italy on 28 April 1949. Mexico City, Montreal and Los Angeles would eventually be selected to host the 1968, 1976 and 1984 Summer Olympics.
|City||Country||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
|Los Angeles||United States||5||4||5||—|
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 must be held during the northern winter. The November–December schedule was thought likely to inconvenience athletes from the Northern Hemisphere, who were accustomed to resting during their winter. [ citation needed ]
Notwithstanding these concerns, the field of candidates eventually narrowed to two Southern Hemisphere cities, these being Melbourne and Buenos Aires, Argentina. 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 alternative site, so equestrian competition began on 10 June, five and a half months before the rest of the Olympic Games were to open.
The above problems of the Melbourne Games were compounded by bickering over financing among Australian politicians. Eventually, in March 1953, the State Government accepted a £2 million loan from the Commonwealth Government to build the Olympic Village, which would accommodate up to 6,000 people, in Heidelberg West. After the Olympics, the houses in the village were handed back to the Housing Commission for general public housing.
At one point, IOC President Avery Brundage 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. Construction of sporting venues was given priority over the athlete's village.The village was designed as a whole new suburb with semi-detached houses and flats. For the first time both sexes were to reside in the same buildings, separated only by fence.
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 under way 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.
Egypt, Iraq, Cambodia and Lebanon announced that they would not participate in the Olympics in response to the Suez Crisis when Egypt was invaded by Israel, the United Kingdom, and France.
The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland boycotted the event in protest at the Soviet Union presence in light of their recent crushing of the Hungarian Revolution.
The People's Republic of China chose to boycott the event because Taiwan had been allowed to compete.
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.)
Once underway, the Games progressed smoothly, and came to be known as the "Friendly Games". metre sprint races and ran an exceptional 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 repeated her 1952 win in the 80 metre hurdles and was also part of the winning 4 x 100 metre relay team, bringing her career Olympic medal total to seven: three golds, a silver, and three bronze medals.Betty Cuthbert, an 18-year-old from Sydney, won the 100 and 200
Australia also triumphed in swimming. 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 became the first male swimmer to win two freestyle events since Johnny Weissmuller in 1924, while Dawn Fraser won gold medals in the 100 metre freestyle and as the leadoff swimmer in the 4 x 100 metre relay team.
The men's track and field events were dominated by the United States. They not only won 15 of the 24 events, they swept four of them and took first and second place in five others. Bobby Morrow led the way with gold medals in the 100 and 200 metre sprints and the 4 x 100 metre relay. Tom Courtney barely overtook Great Britain's Derek Johnson in the 800 metre run, then collapsed from the exertion and needed medical attention.
Ireland's Ronnie Delany ran an outstanding 53.8 over the last 400 metres to win the 1,500 metre run, in which favourite John Landy of Australia finished third.
There was a major upset, marred briefly by controversy, in the 3,000 metre steeplechase. Little-known Chris Brasher of Great Britain finished well ahead of the field, but the judges disqualified him for interfering with Norway's Ernst Larsen, and they announced Sándor Rozsnyói of Hungary as the winner. Brasher's appeal was supported by Larsen, Rozsnyói, and fourth-place finisher Heinz Laufer of Germany. Subsequently, 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, the first American woman to win gold in the sport, set a high jump record of 1.76 metres (5.8 ft), and Egil Danielsen of Norway overcame blustery conditions with a remarkable javelin throw of 85.71 metres (281.2 ft).
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 of Hungary won his third gold medal by beating José Torres 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 took place against the background of the Soviet invasion of Hungary. The game became rough and, when a Hungarian was forced to leave the pool with a bleeding wound above his eye, a riot almost broke out. The police restored order and the game was called early, with Hungary leading 4–0, and the Hungarians went on to win the gold medal.
In a much publicized Olympic romance, American hammer throw champion Hal Connolly would marry Czechoslovak discus throw champion, Olga Fikotová. After moving to the United States, Olga wanted to continue representing Czechoslovakia, but the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee would not allow her to do so.Thereafter, as Olga Connolly, she took part in every Olympics until 1972 competing for the U.S. She was the flag bearer for the U.S. team at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Despite the international tensions of 1956—or perhaps because of them—a young Melburnian, John Ian Wing, came up with a new idea for the closing ceremony. Instead of marching as separate teams, behind their national flags, the athletes mingled together as they paraded into and around the arena for a final appearance before the spectators. It was the start of an Olympic tradition that has been followed ever since.
The Olympic flame was relayed to Melbourne after being lit at Olympia on 2 November 1956.
While the Olympic flame was being carried to Sydney, an Australian veterinary student named Barry Larkin carried a fake Olympic Flame and fooled the mayor of Sydney.
The Olympics were first televised during the 1936 games to a domestic audience in Berlin. The 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo were broadcast internationally with the organising committee giving the television rights for free.While there was much interest in the games overseas, no international television or newsreel rights were awarded, as the Melbourne organising committee requested licensing payments for the broadcasting rights. However, domestic rights to the games were hastily agreed by the three Melbourne stations at the time, GTV9, HSV7 and ABV2, only a week before the opening ceremony. The three Sydney stations, TCN9, ATN7 and ABN2, syndicated the Melbourne coverage. With television in Australia having its beginnings in September 1956, for many Australians, their first glimpse of television was Olympic broadcasts. As only around five thousand televisions had been sold by the time of the Games, the Australian audience largely watched the games at community halls and at Ampol petrol stations.
The 1956 Summer Olympics featured 17 different sports encompassing 23 disciplines, and medals were awarded in 151 events (145 events in Melbourne and 6 equestrian events in Stockholm).In the list below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.
A total of 67 nations competed in the 1956 Olympics. Eight countries made their Olympic debuts: Cambodia (only competed in the equestrian events in Stockholm), Ethiopia, Fiji, Kenya, Liberia, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (modern-day Sabah of Malaysia), and Uganda. Athletes from East Germany and West Germany competed together as the United Team of Germany, 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 in Stockholm, but did not attend the Games in Melbourne. Cambodia and Egypt did not compete in Melbourne due to a boycott regarding the Suez Crisis, whilst the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland all boycotted the Melbourne Olympics in protest at the Soviet invasion of Hungary.
|Participating National Olympic Committees|
|NOCs that participated in the equestrian events in Stockholm, but did not attend the Games in Melbourne:|
These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1956 Games.
|7||United Team of Germany||6||13||7||26|
|Totals (10 entries)||128||118||113||359|
Host nation (Australia). John Ian Wing of Australia was also presented with a bronze medal, not included in the above table, for suggesting the closing ceremony have athletes as one nation.
The Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the Olympiad, and often referred to as the Summer Olympics, is a major international multi-sport event normally held once every four years. The inaugural Games took place in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and the most recent edition was held in 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is responsible for organising the Games and for overseeing the host city's preparations. The tradition of awarding medals began in 1904; in each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals for second place, and bronze medals for third place. The Winter Olympic Games were created out of the success of the Summer Olympic Games, which are regarded as the largest and most prestigious multi-sport international event in the world.
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The 2000 Summer Olympics was an international multi-sport event held from 15 September to 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It marked the second time the Summer Olympics were held in Australia, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the first being in Melbourne, in 1956.
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad and commonly known as Montreal 1976, were an international multi-sport event held from July 17 to August 1, 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam on May 12, 1970, over the bids of Moscow and Los Angeles. It was the first and, so far, only Summer Olympic Games to be held in Canada. Toronto hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics the same year as the Montreal Olympics, which still remains the only Summer Paralympics to be held in Canada. Calgary and Vancouver later hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and 2010, respectively.
The 1992 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad and commonly known as Barcelona '92, were an international multi-sport event held from 25 July to 9 August 1992 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. This was the second "Olympic Games" to be held in a Spanish-speaking nation, then followed by the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Beginning in 1994, the International Olympic Committee decided to hold the Summer and Winter Olympics in alternating even-numbered years. The 1992 Summer and Winter Olympics were the last games to be staged in the same year. This games was the second and last two consecutive Olympic games to be held in Western Europe after the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France held five months earlier.
The 1984 Summer Olympics were an international multi-sport event held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, in Los Angeles, California, United States. It marked the second time that Los Angeles had hosted the Games, the first being in 1932. California was the home state of the incumbent U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who officially opened the Games. These were the first Summer Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch.
The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad and commonly known as Moscow 1980, were an international multi-sport event held from 19 July to 3 August 1980 in Moscow, Soviet Union, in present-day Russia. The Games were the first to be staged in an Eastern Bloc country, as well as the first Olympic Games and only Summer Olympics to be held in a Slavic language-speaking country. They were also the only Summer Olympic Games to be held in a communist country until the 2008 Summer Olympics held in China. These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC Presidency of Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin before he was succeeded by Juan Antonio Samaranch, a Spaniard, shortly afterwards. Eighty nations were represented at the Moscow Games, the smallest number since 1956. Led by the United States, 66 countries boycotted the games entirely, because of the Soviet–Afghan War. Several alternative events were held outside of the Soviet Union. Some athletes from some of the boycotting countries participated in the games under the Olympic Flag. The Soviet Union later boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union won the most gold and overall medals, and together with East Germany more than half of the available gold and overall medals.
The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad and commonly known as Mexico 1968, were an international multi-sport event held from 12 to 27 October 1968 in Mexico City, Mexico. These were the first Olympic Games to be staged in Latin America and the first to be staged in a Spanish-speaking country. They were also the first Games to use an all-weather (smooth) track for track and field events instead of the traditional cinder track, as well as the first example of the Olympics exclusively using electronic timekeeping equipment.
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The 1912 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the V Olympiad and commonly known as Stockholm 1912, were an international multi-sport event held in Stockholm, Sweden, between 5 May and 22 July 1912.
This is the full table of the medal table of the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia and Stockholm, Sweden.
United States of America (USA) has sent athletes to every celebration of the modern era Olympic Games, except for the one 1980 Summer Olympics during which it led a boycott, to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) is the National Olympic Committee of the United States.
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. The competitions were held from 11 to 17 June 1956 at Stockholm Olympic Stadium. There were 158 entries from 29 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and Venezuela. This would be the first appearance for Australia, Cambodia and Venezuela in equestrian events.
The United States of America has sent athletes to every celebration of the modern Summer Olympic Games with the exception of the 1980 Summer Olympics, during which it led a boycott. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) is the National Olympic Committee for the United States.
Canada has competed at 23 Summer Olympic Games, missing only the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics and the boycotted 1980 Summer Olympics. The nation made its debut at the 1900 Summer Olympics. Canada competes under the IOC country code CAN.
Spain first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900, and has sent athletes to compete in most Summer Olympic Games since 1920. Spain has also participated in every Winter Olympic Games since 1936. Its team is organised by the Spanish Olympic Committee created in 1924.
The Friendship Games, or Friendship-84, was an international multi-sport event held between 2 July and 16 September 1984 in the Soviet Union and eight other socialist states which boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
The Netherlands first sent athletes to the Olympic Games in 1900, and has participated in almost all Games since then with the exception of 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. The Netherlands boycotted the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne as a protest against the Soviet invasion in Hungary just a few weeks before the beginning of the Games.