Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
1956 Summer Olympics
The Games of the XVI Olympiad were held in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia, although the equestrian events could not be held in Australia due to quarantine regulations. Therefore, these events were held in Stockholm, Sweden, marking the first, and so far only time, that events of the same Olympics were held in different countries. Melbourne had been elected as the host city over rival bids from Buenos Aires, Mexico and six American cities April 28 1949 on the 43rd IOC session.
|Games of the XVI Olympiad|
|Athletes participating||3,184 (2,813 men, 371 women)|
|Events||145 in 17 sports|
|Opening ceremonies||November 22, 1956|
June 10, 1956
|Closing ceremonies||December 8, 1956|
June 17, 1956
|Officially opened by||Prince Philip|
Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden
|Athlete's Oath||John Landy|
Henri Saint Cyr
|Olympic Torch||Ron Clarke|
- Because Melbourne is situated in the southern hemisphere, the Olympics were held later in the year than those held in the northern hemisphere.
- Two international events lead to nations boycotting the Olympics. The first is the British and French involvement in the Suez Crisis, which leads to the absence of Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq. The Soviet handling of the Hungarian revolution leads to the absence of Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Hungary and the Soviet Union were themselves present, which among others led to a hotly contested and violent water polo encounter between the nations. In total, 45 Hungarians defected to the West after the Olympics. A third boycott came from the People's Republic of China, which protested against presence of the Republic of China (under the name Formosa).
- After being banned from the Olympics in 1948, a team of only West German athletes took part in 1952. This year, athletes from both East and West Germany would compete in a combined team. This remarkable combination would disappear at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
- Home-runner Betty Cuthbert becomes the "Golden Girl" by winning three track gold medals. Her performance is equalled by sprinter Bobby Joe Morrow.
- Another Australian, Murray Rose, also wins three gold medals in the swimming pool.
- Soviet runner Vladimir Kuts wins both the 5000 and 10000 m.
- Inspired by Australian teenager John Wing, an Olympic tradition begins 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.
- Is nicknamed "the Friendly Games."
See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
Top medal-collecting nations:
(for the full table, see 1956 Summer Olympics medal count)
|1956 Summer Olympics medal count|
|7||United Team of Germany||6||13||7||26|
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