About the Games
A total of 821 athletes from 32 countries participated in Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956 Winter Olympics and competed in 24 events.
Most medals won (from a total of 13 teams) by: 1. USSR – 16 (7, 3, 6), 2. Austria – 11 (4, 3, 4), 3. Finland – 7 (3, 3, 1).
For the first time in the history, the Olympic Oath was sworn by a female athlete. This honor was entrusted to Italian Alpine skier Giuliana Chenal Minuzzo, bronze medalist of the 1952 Oslo Games.
For the first time ever, a country making its debut in the Winter Olympics – the USSR – won more medals than any other nation. Also, Bolivia and Iran competed at the Winter Games for the first time. Athletes from West Germany and East Germany competed together as the United Team of Germany.
Poland and Japan won their first medals in the Winter Olympics.
Austrian Toni Sailer became the first Alpine skier to win three Olympic gold medals for slalom, giant slalom, and downhill.
Two new events were added to the Olympic programme – men’s 30 km race and women’s 3 x 5 km relay.
The Cortina Games were the first Winter Olympics to be broadcast to a multi-national audience.
These were the last Olympics to feature figure skating outdoors.
Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956 Winter Olympics website: