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1956 Melbourne
Olympic Stadium

The G

1956 Melbourne Olympic Stadium

  Venue Resources  
Address Melbourne, Australia
Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
  Metal Count  
Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
USSR
USA
Australia
Hungary
Germany
Italy
Great Britain
Sweden
Japan
Romania
France
37
32
13
9
6
8
6
8
4
5
4
29
25
8
10
13
8
7
5
10
3
4
32
17
14
7
7
9
11
6
5
5
6
98
74
35
26
26
25
24
19
19
13
14
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Melbourne, Australia

  The Facility  
Date Built 1854
Ownership
(Management)
Government of Victoria
(Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC))
Surface Grass
Cost of Construction Unknown
Olympic Capacity 103,000
Luxury Suites None
Club Seats None
  Other Facts  
Current Tenants Australia (Cricket) (1877-Present)
Victorian Bushrangers
(Cricket) (1856-Present)
Melbourne Demons
(AFL) (1859-Present)
Richmond Tigers
(AFL) (1965-Present)
Collingwood Magpies
(AFL) (1993-Present)
Hawthorn Hawks
(AFL) (2000-Present)
Former Tenants 1956 Summer Olympics
2006 Commonwealth Games
Socceroos (Soccer)
Population Base 4,000,000
On Site Parking Unknown
Nearest Airport Melbourne Airport (MEL)

1956 Melbourne Olympic Stadium

The Olympics came to Australia for the first time in 1956. Against all odds Melbourne was host to the world's greatest sporting festival. The idea for the Olympics to come south was first mooted back in the 1920s, when James Pa' Taylor, only the second person from Australasia to be appointed to the International Olympic Committee, lobbied for Australia to be awarded the 1936 Olympics. His efforts were in vain, and the Games did not come down-under until 12 years after his death.

There were many people involved in the efforts to persuade the IOC that Melbourne should have the 1956 Games, not the least Frank Beaurepaire, the great swimmer who won six medals in an Olympic career stretching from 1908 to 1924. He was Lord Mayor of Melbourne between 1940 and 1942 and worked long and hard to persuade, firstly, Australian business and government leaders and then, the Olympic chiefs that Melbourne deserved the honour. When his efforts succeeded he was again elected Lord Mayor so he could be the official host. Sadly, he died of a heart attack seven months before the Games opened.

There were many problems before the Games actually took place. Because of Australia's stringent animal quarantine laws one of the sports, the equestrian events, were for the one and only time held in a different location - in this case, Stockholm in Sweden. There were arguments about where the main stadium should be, and for a while there was so much industrial unrest and lack of endeavour that it looked a real possibility that there would be another first - the relocation of the Olympics to another country.

But eventually, on Thursday, 22 November 1956, some 103,000 spectators packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground in brilliant sunshine (after almost two months of rain) to watch a young athlete later to become one of the most famous in the world, Ron Clarke, run into the arena with the Olympic flame. The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the Games, the great mile runner John Landy took the oath on behalf of the 4,000-odd sportsmen and women from 67 nations and the Melbourne Olympics got under way.

Source: Malcolm Andrews

Armed conflicts in Egypt and Hungary threatened to disrupt the 1956 Games.

In July of 1956, Egypt seized the Suez Canal from British and French control. In October, Britain and France invaded Egypt in an attempt to retake the canal. Then in November, Russian tanks rolled into Hungary to crush an anti-Communist revolt.

The only direct bearing these events had in Melbourne came when the Soviet water polo team met the Hungarians in the semifinals. Hungary won 4-0, but the match turned ugly after a Hungarian player was pulled bleeding from the pool with a deep gash over his eye from a Russian head butt. A brawl quickly ensued involving both players and spectators and the police had to step in torevent a riot.

Otherwise, the Soviets outmedaled the U.S. for the first time, cleaning up in gymnastics and winning their first track and field titles when Vladimir Kuts ran off with the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

The American men won 15 track and field titles, including three golds for sprinter Bobby Morrow and Al Oerter's first victory in the discus.

Haold Connolly of the U.S. won the hammer throw and the heart of the women's discus champion, Olga Fikotova of Czechoslovakia. Their romance captured the imagination of the world and three months after the Games they were married.

Emil Zatopek, the Czech hero of Helsinki, returned to defend his marathon title and came in sixth. Winner Alain Mimoun, of France, had finished second to Zatopek three times in previous Olympics.

Source: 1996 Information Please Sports Almanac

1952 Helsinki
Olympic Stadium

1952 Helsinki Olympic Stadium

1952
1956 Melbourne
Olympic Stadium

1956 Melbourne Olympic Stadium

1956
1960 Rome
Olympic Stadium

1960 Rome Olympic Stadium

1960


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