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HISTORY OF THE GAMES -- 1956

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The Modern Olympics

1956 -- Melbourne, Australia (equestrian events were held in Stockholm)
3,342 athletes, 67 nations
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The 1956 Games were relatively successful, but they probably would not have been held in Australia if the IOC had known about the country's quarantine law before they picked Melbourne to host. The law prohibited foreign horses from entering Australia and the equestrian events were held in Sweden. The staging of the Games in the two different countries broke an Olympic rule.

The Games also took place amidst global tension and the first Olympic boycotts took place. Some people even suggested that the entire event be cancelled. Less than three weeks before the Games The Soviet Union invaded Hungary. In the Middle East, the Suez Canal crisis was brewing. The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland pulled out to protest Soviet suppression of Hungary. Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon boycotted the Games over the Suez crisis. Half of the Hungarian team refused to go back to Budapest at the end of the Games. The Games even witnessed a bloody water polo match between The Soviet Union and Hungary.

Canadian Highlights: Canadian rowers won gold medals in the men's coxless fours and Gerry Ouellette won the small-bore rifle prone event.

Medal Count: Gold 2, Silver 2, Bronze 3


1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996