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Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games

Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games - XVI Olympiad

Melbourne were the first southern hemisphere city to hold the summer games.  However, strict quarantine regulations on horses meant that the equestrian events had to be held in Stockholm.

Once again political unrest in Europe and the Middle East unsettled the games.  Britain became involved with Suez, while the USSR invaded Hungary.

As ever there were memorable races on the running track where Vladamir Kuts broke the world record at both 5,000 and 10,000 meters.  Zatopek was now passed his best and his long time rival Alain Mimoun finally bested him in the marathon.

While Holland, Switzerland and Spain boycotted the games because of the Soviet invasion of Hungary; the Hungarians themselves still took part, and cheered Laslo Papp to win a boxing gold medal.  The water polo match between Hungary and USSR turned ugly, and the game had to be abandoned.  However, as Hungary were leading 4-0 it was they progressed and went on to win the gold medal.

Chris Brasher (Great Britain) 3000 Metre Steeplechase Winner

Chris Brasher was an unexpected winner of the steeplechase, sprinting to a 15 metre victory.  A short time after the race it was announced that he had been disqualified for interfering with Ernst Larsen, the Norwegian runner who had finished third.  Larsen agreed that he had been bumped by Brasher but indicated that he did not support the disqualification.  Sandor Rozsynyoi of Hungary who finished second also supported Brasher. After an agonising wait of three hours, Brasher's disqualification was overturned and he was reinstated as the winner.

In later life Chris Brasher co-founded the London Marathon.  In earlier life Chris Brasher paced Roger Bannister to the first ever sub-minute four minute mile.

Dawn Frazer was the star of the swimming pool winning the 100 M freestyle.  She became the first swimmer to win the same event at three consecutive games when she won at Rome then Tokyo.

Melbourne 1956 was the first Olympics that Guy listened to a crackling radio, it was so exciting

 

Footnote
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See more about The London 2012 Olympic Games:

2012 London Olympics   • 1952 Helsinki Olympics   • 1956 Melbourne Olympics   • 1960 Rome Olympics

1964 Tokyo Olympics   • 1968 Mexico Olympics   • 1972 Munich Olympics   • 1976 Montreal Olympics

1980 Moscow Olympics   • 1984 LA Olympics   • 1988 Seoul Olympics   • 1992 Barcelona Olympics