London 2012

1956 - Melbourne

Last Updated: 20/06/12 2:02pm

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Laszlo Papp: Won third Olympic gold.

Laszlo Papp: Won third Olympic gold.

These were the first Games to be held in the southern hemisphere but strict quarantine laws prevented foreign horses entering the country so the equestrian events were held in Stockholm.

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  • Heavyweight boxer Rocky Marciano retires without one single loss in his professional career.
  • The first ever alarm clock with a snooze button is introduced onto the market.

The equestrian events took place in June before the Olympics followed in Melbourne in October - the first and only time such a wide difference in not only distance but also time (five months) has been in used for one Games.

The Soviet invasion of Hungary provoked protests and Spain, Switzerland and Holland withdrew from the Games, while Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq refused to participate in protest at the Franco-British Suez intervention.

And the People's Republic of China pulled out because of the presence of the Republic of China (Taiwan) - a conflict which would take 28 years to be resolved.

The IOC managed to get East and West Germany to compete together in one team (EUA) for this and the next two Olympics.

Hungary's Laszlo Papp became the first boxer to win three gold medals while Ukrainian gymnast Viktor Chukarin earned five medals, including three gold, to bring his career total to 11 medals, seven of them gold.

The USA basketball team put on the most dominant performance in Olympic history, scoring more than twice as much as their opponents and winning each of their games by at least 30 points.

'Golden Girl' Elizabeth 'Betty' Cuthbert, 18, won gold in the 100m and 200m and 4x100m relay and was instantly acclaimed as a national heroine for Australia.

Prior to 1956 athletes in the closing ceremony marched nation by nation, but in Melbourne the athletes entered the stadium together as a symbol of global unity in what became known as the 'Friendly Games'.Olympic Stars:

Betty Cuthbert was the golden girl of the Melbourne Olympics as the Australian teenager captured the 100m and 200m titles as well as the hearts of the home nation.

The 18-year-old from Sydney followed her double sprint success by running the anchor leg for the hosts in the 4x100m and beating out Great Britain for that title to make it three golds for the home heroine.

Hungarian boxer Laszlo Papp defeated Joe Torres in the light middleweight final to claim an unprecedented third consecutive boxing gold medal.

After middleweight gold in London 1948 and light middleweight success in Helsinki, Budapest southpaw Papp made it three in a row in Melbourne to cement his place as one of the best amateur boxers in history.

The Hungarian water polo team had extra motivation when they faced the Soviet Union on the back of the recent invasion by the communist superpower - and this showed in what became known as the 'Blood in the Water' match.

Hungary, cheered on by a partisan crowd backing them against the Soviets, emerged with a 4-0 victory en route to another water polo gold, and the manner of the contest was summed up by Hungary's Ervin Zador emerging from the pool with blood pouring from a cut eye caused by a Soviet punch.

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