Last Updated: 20/06/12 1:43pm
More than 50 years after giving up their chance to host the Olympics, Italy finally got their opportunity and these were the Games at which the greatest boxing star of all time was born.
Rome made the most of its history and culture by staging events around famous landmarks around the city, all of which were screened live in 18 European countries and on delay to the USA and Japan.
Cassius Marcellus Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, first gained international prominence by winning the light-heavyweight boxing gold medal.
Ghana's Ike Quartey became the first black African Olympic medallist when he claimed a silver medal in light-welterweight boxing.
Britain's Anita Lonsbrough swam to gold in the 200m breaststroke, setting a new world record in the process as one of only two golds for Team GB this year.
Five days later in the marathon, Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila, running barefoot, outlasted Morocco's Rhadi Ben Abdesselem to become the first black African Olympic champion.
In the gym, the Soviet Union proved to be the dominant force as their women gymnasts won a remarkable 15 of the 16 medals on offer.
More dominant performances came with Denmark's Paul Elvstrom winning a fourth consecutive yachting gold, while Hungarian fencer Aladar Gerevich and Swedish canoeist Gert Fredriksson both won their sixth gold medals.
Yugoslavia, who qualified for the semi-final by winning a coin toss, won the football tournament after losing in the final three times in a row.
Bill Roycroft, suffering from concussion and a broken collarbone after a fall in the three-day equestrian event, left his hospital bed to compete in the jumping event and win gold medal for Australia.Olympic Stars:
The greatest boxer of all time grabbed his first taste of success at the Rome Olympics as then Cassius Clay won gold in the light heavyweight division, before going on to become the most iconic name in boxing.
Muhammad Ali, as he became, won two Golden Gloves and a national title before scooping Olympic gold, with an amateur record that closed on 100-5.
Danish yachtsman Paul Elvstrom is one of the few Olympians to win individual gold medals in four consecutive Games, with 1960 being the final one of his quartet.
Originally in the Firefly class, Elvstrom then succeeded in the Finn class to nail his place as one of the best sailors, and indeed solo Olympians, of all time.
Gert Fredriksson was the Steve Redgrave of canoe sprinting, winning six gold medals in four Olympics, eight medals overall and golds in four consecutive Games from 1948-60.
The most successful canoeist ever, Fredriksson is also Sweden's best ever Olympian with his medal haul, which included a bronze in Rome in the K1 - 1000m event after claiming gold in the K2 equivalent.
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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