About the Games
This was the first time that the Games had been held in Oceania with 3314 participants from 72 countries. They competed in 151 events.
Most medals won (from a total of 38 teams) by: 1. USSR – 98 (37, 29, 32), 2. USA – 74 (32, 25, 17), 3. Australia – 35 (13, 8, 14).
Lithuania in the Games
Medals were won by as many as 5 out of 7 participating Lithuanian athletes.
Kazimieras Petkevičius won a silver medal second time in a row, while Stanislovas Stonkus and Algirdas Lauritėnas became Olympic vice champions as part of the USSR basketball team. Race walker Antanas Mikėnas also won a silver medal.
Bronze medal was won by boxer Romualdas Murauskas.
Fencer Juozas Ūdra who participated as a member of the USSR team, placed 7th. Runner Jonas Pipynė placed 20th.
Although the Opening ceremony of the Melbourne 1956 Summer Olympics took place in November 22 in Melbourne, the Games’ events started as early as June in Stockholm. The equestrian events were held separately, as Australian quarantine laws were too severe to allow the entry of foreign horses. This was the first Games where the unity of time and place, as stipulated in the Charter, has not been observed,
although it was not the first time that the Olympics were held entirely in one country, the first being the 1920 Summer Olympics, when some events took place not in Belgium, but in the Netherlands.
Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon athletes did not participate in the Games in response to the Suez Crisis. The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland withdrew from the Games in protest of the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution. However, these three countries and Egypt did participate in the equestrian events in Stockholm. The People’s Republic of China chose to boycott the event because Taiwan had been allowed to compete.
Eight countries made their Olympic debuts: Ethiopia, Fiji, Kenya, Liberia, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (modern-day Sabah of Malaysia), and Uganda.
During the Closing ceremony of these Olympics, the tradition of national teams parading as one was started.
Melbourne 1956 Olimpic Games
Melbourne 1956 Summer Olympics website: