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The 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne

 

When Melbourne was announced as the host city of the 1956 Olympic Games at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Rome in 1949, it made the Australian delegation 'the happiest men in the world'.[footnote 1] They had reason to celebrate — it was to be the first Olympic Games held in the southern hemisphere.[footnote 2] The fact that the 1956 Olympic Games were ultimately successful was all the more remarkable given the organisational difficulties of the intervening years.[footnote 3] The official history of the Games, published by the Organising Committee in 1958, deftly avoided any mention of the long-running disputes that began immediately after the 1949 announcement, commenting only that 'the rest of the story … is one of little more than local interest'.[footnote 4] The 'local interest' included three separate bids to have the Games staged at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, before agreement was finally reached on that location in 1953, and three occasions on which International Olympic Committee officials threatened to take the Games away from Melbourne.

The spark and Melbourne's bid

Edgar Tanner is credited with having the original inspiration for staging the Olympic Games in Melbourne.[footnote 5] Mr Tanner's early career was in advertising but he was also a keen amateur boxer and sports administrator who served in the Australian Imperial Force during the Second World War.[footnote 6] He was later a Member of the Victorian Parliament for over 20 years from 1955, first as the Member for Ripponlea, then Caulfield. Mr Tanner convened the first meeting of the Victorian Olympic Council (VOC) after the war, in June 1946, which resolved to apply for the Games to be held in Melbourne.[footnote 7] He sought procedural advice and went about gathering support, with the backing of VOC chairman, Bill Uren. The incumbent Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Cr. Raymond Connelly, and a previous Lord Mayor, Sir Frank Beaurepaire, proved to be powerful allies.[footnote 8]

Sir Frank Beaurepaire (MLC for Monash from 1942 to 1952) had been a champion swimmer and was a veteran of three Olympics.[footnote 9] He turned his considerable energies towards the pursuit of Melbourne's Olympic bid, using his business contacts and flair for publicity to good advantage.[footnote 10] The Australian Olympic Federation (AOF) endorsed Melbourne's bid and Mr Tanner was appointed secretary-treasurer of the AOF in 1947.[footnote 11] In June 1947, Cr. Connelly said that he would submit an application for the 1956 Olympic Games to be held in Melbourne, with the intention to 'get in nice and early' and he did so in January 1948 (the same month in which he was knighted).[footnote 12] A cablegram from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland acknowledged receipt of Melbourne's application for the Games in early March 1948.[footnote 13]

The Invitation Committee — which included the Governor, Sir Winston Dugan, Premier Thomas Hollway, Sir Frank Beaurepaire and Sir Raymond Connelly — prepared a handsome photographic publicity book in April 1948 that showcased Melbourne's assets.[footnote 14] The publication was distributed overseas to IOC members and to local financial sponsors of the project.[footnote 15] Mr Tanner managed the Australian Olympic Team at the 1948 London Olympics and, along with Sir Frank Beaurepaire, Sir Raymond Connelly and Sir Harold Luxton, attended the 1948 Games in order to meet and lobby IOC delegates.[footnote 16] Sir Harold Luxton was Melbourne's own IOC delegate who had been a Melbourne City councillor from 1919 to 1943, including several years as Lord Mayor, and he had also been a Member of Parliament.[footnote 17]

The Invitation Committee members had to sustain and intensify their lobbying efforts as the IOC postponed the decision on the 1956 Olympics until the IOC meeting in Rome the following year.[footnote 18] In the interim, the State Government formed a sub-committee in August 1948 to assist the Invitation Committee, which included Premier Hollway, Deputy Premier, John McDonald, and the Minister for Transport, Wilfred Kent Hughes.[footnote 19] A second promotional book about Melbourne was also approved.[footnote 20]

Mr Tanner was confident of success, saying on his return to Australia that if Melbourne missed out on the 1956 Games 'then it will be her own fault'.[footnote 21] Sir Frank Beaurepaire said that Melbourne's bid had made a favourable impression on the IOC and that he believed the Olympics had the potential to 'advance the progress of Melbourne in many avenues by 20 years'.[footnote 22]

On 17 December 1948, Premier Hollway told the Invitation Committee meeting at the Melbourne Town Hall that the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds at Flemington would be the main venue if Melbourne secured the 1956 Olympic Games.[footnote 23] The plan was endorsed by the new Lord Mayor, Cr. James Disney (as chair of the Committee) and the Royal Agricultural Society (which hoped to restart its stalled program of expansion and improvements on the Flemington site).[footnote 24] The announcement caused some consternation as it was claimed that neither the Victorian Amateur Athletics Association nor the VOC had been consulted before the decision was made.[footnote 25] Soon afterwards, the VOC decided to assert the rights of the Australian Olympic Federation to control the Olympics if Melbourne was successful.[footnote 26]

In his tireless lobbying efforts, Sir Raymond Connelly had emphasised four key points which were picked up by the Invitation Committee: the Games had never been held in a British Dominion or in the southern hemisphere; Australia was one of only four nations that had competed in every Olympics; some European nations were closer to Australia than to parts of the United States; and 1956 would be a great year in Melbourne because it coincided with the Victorian Parliament's centenary of responsible government.[footnote 27] Australia's delegation to Rome for the decision on the Games was headed by Melbourne's Lord Mayor, Cr. James Disney, accompanied by Sir Frank Beaurepaire, AOF chairman Harold Alderson and Victoria's Agent-General, Sir Norman Martin.[footnote 28] They were introduced to the IOF members by Sir Harold Luxton.[footnote 29]

Melbourne's successful bid is announced

On 29 April 1949, at the IOC meeting in Rome, Melbourne was chosen to host the 1956 XVI Olympiad on the fourth ballot, beating Buenos Aires, Argentina, by a single vote. Six United States cities and Mexico had also been in the running but, as the Los Angeles Examiner reported, the Australian delegates 'really put on a show'.[footnote 30] The Victorian Government had produced a flattering 13-minute colour film about Melbourne which was shown to the IOC members.[footnote 31] Another important factor was the assurance given by the Australian Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, that Melbourne's bid had financial support.[footnote 32] On the day the good news was received, Sir Raymond Connelly pressed a switch to light a symbolic Olympic torch at the Melbourne Town Hall. Unfortunately he died suddenly a few days later, 'almost in the hour of triumph'.[footnote 33]

Reorganisation and site selection

The years following the decision to award Melbourne the 1956 Olympic Games were marked by protracted disputes, principally over the selection of the site for the main stadium.[footnote 34] Amateur sporting bodies and business interests battled over the stadium and other issues for so long that Melbourne almost lost the right to stage the Games three times.[footnote 35] Seven sites were in contention at various stages: the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the Showgrounds, Carlton Cricket Ground (Princes Park), Olympic Park, Albert Park, the St Kilda Cricket Ground and the sports oval at the University of Melbourne.[footnote 36] From the time the Games were awarded to Melbourne, it would be four difficult years before the MCG was finally chosen as the main venue in 1953.[footnote 37]

Trouble began immediately after AOF secretary, Mr Tanner, challenged the right of the State Government to select the main site and suggested that the Showgrounds might not be suitable.[footnote 38] In early July 1949, The Argus newspaper reported that a number of government ministers favoured an alternative plan to stage the Games at the MCG, with upgrades to its grandstands and the facilities in the adjacent parklands.[footnote 39] On the other hand, Sir Frank Beaurepaire expressed doubts about the MCG and queried whether the Trustees would agree to interference with the playing surface.[footnote 40]

The AOF held a conference in Melbourne in October 1949 to establish an Organising Committee, which was tasked with supervising the organisation and administration of the 1956 Olympic Games.[footnote 41] The Committee was given the power to appoint technical sub-committees to handle a range of matters including the location of arenas, design and construction, transport, accommodation, finance, catering and publicity.[footnote 42] The Organising Committee held its first meeting on 12 November 1949, at which Sir Frank Beaurepaire was appointed as chairman and as a member of the sub-committee that would seek expert advice on the stadium question.[footnote 43] Mr Tanner was appointed as honorary secretary.[footnote 44] By early December, Sir Frank Beaurepaire admitted that planning was taking longer than expected and that the Committee would only be able to provide preliminary details in its progress report to the IOC in May 1950.[footnote 45]

On 2 April 1950, the Organising Committee conditionally selected the MCG as the main arena, provided that the MCG Trustees undertook alterations to the ground to comply with Olympic requirements — to regrade the ground to eliminate a fall of over seven feet from east to west — and that the State Government guaranteed financial support for the improvements.[footnote 46] The MCG Trustees, chaired by Sir Harry Lawson (a former Member of State Parliament), consulted with experts and with their sub-tenants, including the Victorian Cricket Association and the Victorian Football League, but the Trustees decided against making the ground available.[footnote 47]

Alternative venues and other issues

Mr Kent Hughes, the 'champion' of the amateur sporting bodies on Olympic issues, defeated Sir Frank Beaurepaire in a ballot for president of the Victorian Olympic Council in June 1950.[footnote 48] Sir Frank Beaurepaire's defeat in the VOC ballot did not affect his role as chairman of the Organising Committee and he remained a strong advocate for the Showgrounds site.[footnote 49] In mid-October 1950, The Argus newspaper reported that the Committee still considered the Showgrounds to be the main site for the Games, with Olympic Park to include a cycling track, a secondary stadium and a 'convertible indoor swimming pool'.[footnote 50] Mr Kent Hughes had been the MLA for Kew for 22 years before being elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Chisholm in 1949.[footnote 51] He was also an ex-Olympian, having represented Australia in the 400 metre hurdles at the 1920 Games in Antwerp.[footnote 52]

Concerns about accommodation became apparent when the State Development Committee tabled an interim report into Victorian tourist facilities in 1950.[footnote 53] Although it did not make formal recommendations, the Committee found the majority of accommodation in hotels and guest-houses to be seriously inadequate.[footnote 54] Basic amenities such as meal services, plumbing, bedding and lighting were all found to be sub-standard and in need of urgent attention.[footnote 55] In mid-1954, a committee was established at the Melbourne Town Hall, with the approval of the Organising Committee, to coordinate accommodation for Olympic Games visitors in private homes.[footnote 56] With most of the hotel accommodation to be occupied by team officials and press representatives, The Age newspaper considered private billeting to be the only practical solution.[footnote 57]

Sir Frank Beaurepaire resigned as chairman of the Organising Committee, effective 25 February 1951, citing health issues and work commitments. He joined the Melbourne City Council's business committee for the Games in April the following year.[footnote 58] Mr Kent Hughes, federal Minister for the Interior, Works and Housing in Prime Minister Robert Menzies' Cabinet, was appointed as chairman of the Organising Committee in May 1951.[footnote 59]

In April 1951, state political leaders began to express doubts about whether Victoria could meet its Games commitments.[footnote 60] Premier McDonald was concerned about the state wide shortage of housing, schools, hospitals and building materials, saying that housing in particular should not be neglected in favour of Olympic preparations.[footnote 61] The cost of the Games was then estimated at £4 million and the Premier made it clear that Victoria could not finance the Games from its own budget.[footnote 62] During this period of uncertainty, Australia's senior IOC delegate, Hugh Weir, was sent off to the IOC conference in Vienna with instructions from Sir Harold Luxton to be 'diplomatic and reassuring' on the question of finance.[footnote 63]

The Organising Committee was registered as a company at the Titles Office in September 1951, to organise, conduct and finance the 1956 Olympic Games.[footnote 64] The company registration was viewed by some as tacit approval from the government that the Games would proceed.[footnote 65] Prime Minister Menzies replied to Premier McDonald's request for financial assistance by saying that the Commonwealth would be able to discuss its possible contribution if the MCG was chosen as the main stadium.[footnote 66] With arrangements still far from settled, the IOC Chancellor, Otto Mayer, warned that Melbourne may lose the Games if its organisational difficulties were not overcome.[footnote 67] The Opposition Leader, Thomas Hollway, commented that Australia would be regarded as a 'nation of hillbillies' if it lost the Games.[footnote 68]

After considering a report on the cost and suitability of alternative stadium sites, the Organising Committee decided to make another approach to the MCG Trustees.[footnote 69] On 26 November 1951, the State Cabinet approved the introduction of a Bill to Parliament that would authorise the MCG Trustees to take over two acres of Yarra Park to extend the ground.[footnote 70] Premier McDonald stated that the plan to enlarge the MCG stands was not designed specifically for the Olympic Games; it was intended to improve the ground accommodation in line with earlier requests submitted to the government by the MCG Trustees.[footnote 71] The Melbourne Cricket Ground Act 1951 was passed on 18 December 1951.

Hopes were raised that the MCG would be made available when the Trustees sought further details on the proposal in December 1951.[footnote 72] However, the Trustees again refused permission to use the MCG in February 1952, with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) having strong objections to the ground regrading process and the disruption to the cricket and football seasons.[footnote 73] The Argus newspaper conducted an informal opinion poll on the question of the stadium, finding that 32 out of 40 people were in favour of the MCG.[footnote 74] An editorial in The Age stated that 'such a prolonged display of seeming inertia or sheer incapacity to make up our minds' must be causing damage to Australia's reputation overseas.[footnote 75]

Battle of the cricket grounds

After the second refusal of the MCG, the Carlton Cricket Ground emerged as the favoured main stadium.[footnote 76] At a top-level meeting attended by Premier McDonald, Prime Minister Menzies, senior Organising Committee members and other federal, state and municipal representatives, the decision was made 'after 39 months of wrangling', with the agreement that the federal government would pay half of the costs.[footnote 77] The IOC was advised of the change at its session in Helsinki for the summer Olympics in July 1952.[footnote 78] The chairman of the Games Control Committee, businessman Arthur W. Coles, said that the Carlton Ground should be extended to hold 125,000 people and it had the all clear to proceed with building works and plans.[footnote 79]

However, soon after the state election in December 1952 the new Premier, John Cain (senior), requested a full report on Games preparations from Mr Coles.[footnote 80] When Premier Cain heard that the revised estimate for the construction work at Carlton was close to £1.5 million, he issued an immediate stop-work order, expressing concern about Victoria's financial position.[footnote 81] The Premier decided to make one more approach to the MCG.[footnote 82]

Premier Cain met with MCC President, Dr William McClelland, on 22 January 1953 to request that he reconsider the matter, as his government 'had neither the desire nor the money to finance another ground'.[footnote 83] The MCC Committee promptly held a special meeting, the outcome of which was a decision to support the Games being held at the MCG if the government considered it to be in the public interest.[footnote 84] Revised engineering plans and an offer to cover the cost of the ground regrading and restoration work combined to make the deal more attractive.[footnote 85]

The MCG is finally chosen as the site for the Olympic Games

The Carlton stadium concept still had some supporters at a three-day 'summit' conference of Australian political and sporting leaders, held in early February 1953, but ultimately the decision was unanimous to choose the MCG as the site for the Olympic Games, subject to IOC approval.[footnote 86] Premier Cain finally settled the matter by stating that the government would only offer financial support if the Games were held at the MCG.[footnote 87] It was agreed that the Commonwealth Government would pay half of the overall cost and the Victorian Government and Melbourne City Council would each pay 25 per cent.[footnote 88] The revised estimate for the Games was £850,000, including £300,000 for the MCG to regrade the ground and make other alterations, another £300,000 allocated for the Olympic Pool and £250,000 for the cycling track.[footnote 89]

The President of the IOC, Avery Brundage, was concerned by negative commentary on Melbourne's lack of progress with Games planning and warned that Australia needed to take positive action before the IOC meeting in April 1953, or risk losing the Olympics.[footnote 90] Melbourne received strong support from the British officials at the IOC, including Lord Burghley, who acknowledged that the change of stadium had 'caused a little upset' but he otherwise viewed Melbourne's prospects in a positive light.[footnote 91]

It was subsequently reported that the IOC had 'full confidence' in the Melbourne Games, with only one major query remaining over the equestrian events.[footnote 92] Australia's strict quarantine laws required horses entering the country to spend six months in quarantine beforehand in either England, Ireland or New Zealand.[footnote 93] A change to the Olympic rules enabled the equestrian events to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1956, and Australia sent its first equestrian team overseas to compete.[footnote 94]

Location of the athletes' village and Olympic pool

While the location of the main stadium had been finalised, a number of other issues remained. After a tense stand-off about funding, the State Government accepted a £2 million loan from the Commonwealth in March 1953, to finance the building of the Olympic Games athletes' village.[footnote 95] The plan was for the Housing Commission to act as the building authority for the village, with the houses (to accommodate up to 6,000 people) to be handed back to the Commission for general housing after the Games.[footnote 96] The two options for the location of the village were North Carlton and Heidelberg, for which the Control Committee had already prepared sketches.[footnote 97] Premier Cain announced that Cabinet had chosen Heidelberg by 11 votes to three on 21 September 1953.[footnote 98]

The selection of a site for the Olympic swimming pool also caused some problems. Fawkner Park had become the favoured site for the new pool by mid-1952.[footnote 99] Mr Coles announced an Australia-wide competition for the design of the indoor swimming pool in October 1952, with the winning (and very modern) design by four young Melbourne architects chosen in December.[footnote 100] By January 1953, a number of Melbourne City Councillors were lobbying to have the pool constructed in St Kilda.[footnote 101] Underlying discontent came to a head in May, when Mr Kent Hughes moved to strip the Control Committee of some of its powers.[footnote 102] Mr Coles had already made assurances to the IOC about the pool being built in Fawkner Park, but the Acting Premier, Leslie Galvin (Premier Cain was on his way to the Coronation in London), announced that the pool would not be built there.[footnote 103]

On 20 May 1953, Mr Coles resigned his position as chairman of the Control Committee, informing Acting Premier Galvin that the government's decision to change the pool site had forced his hand.[footnote 104] The state Minister for Transport, Patrick Coleman (MLC for Melbourne West), was appointed as the new Control Committee chairman.[footnote 105] Olympic Park, which was on land set aside for amateur sports (not designated as parkland like Fawkner Park), was chosen as the final site for the swimming pool.[footnote 106] The well-credentialed Lieutenant-General William Bridgeford was interviewed as the potential new chief executive officer for the Olympic Games.[footnote 107] Lieutenant-General Bridgeford's appointment to the role was confirmed in June, giving him the job of coordinating all stages of Games organisation.[footnote 108]

Special guests

The Vice-President of the United States, Richard Nixon, made a flying visit to Melbourne as part of a brief Australian tour in October 1953.[footnote 109] During a single day in Melbourne he visited the Shrine of Remembrance, the MCG, the Town Hall and Parliament House.[footnote 110] At a state luncheon at Parliament House, Mr Nixon predicted that the Melbourne Olympics would be a great success.[footnote 111] He inspected Games plans during his visit to the Town Hall and said that the planning issues were not insurmountable, being similar to those experienced in Los Angeles before the 1932 Games.[footnote 112] The Vice-President assured his hosts that Melbourne had the essentials with the climate, the stadium and 'a wonderfully sports-minded people'.[footnote 113]

Construction work could not begin at the MCG until after the Australian visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in February 1954.[footnote 114] The Queen and Duke visited the MCG twice during their tour: firstly on 25 February for an assembly of ex-servicemen and women's organisations and again on 4 March, for the Education Department's children's display.[footnote 115] The Queen also opened the Victorian State Parliament on 25 February, exercising her 'historic privilege' by delivering a short speech on the government's legislative program to a packed Legislative Council chamber — an event described as an 'unforgettable spectacle'.[footnote 116] The Queen later accepted the office of Patron in Chief of the Olympic Games and the Duke of Edinburgh was invited to return to Melbourne to open the Games.[footnote 117]

Industrial unrest

Much construction work was needed to get the MCG ready for the Olympic Games. Parliament passed the Melbourne Cricket Club (Guarantee) Act 1954 in May in order to ensure the repayment of a £450,000 loan to the MCC to carry out the planned alterations. The Treasurer, Mr Cain, explained that the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society had insisted on the legislation.[footnote 118] The planned additions to the stadium, including the replacement of the northern public stand, would allow the MCG to accommodate 120,000 people.[footnote 119] Concrete was poured for the new MCG grandstand foundations on 20 June 1954, but industrial trouble — strikes, black bans and go-slows — started to impede progress significantly from October 1954.[footnote 120] Fifty MCG carpenters went on strike for a full month in March 1955 demanding a better pay rate, finally accepting an extra £1 per week in April 1955.[footnote 121]

Industrial trouble was among the issues that provoked the visiting IOC President, Mr Brundage, to make another veiled threat to take the Games away from Melbourne.[footnote 122] He clashed with Mr Kent Hughes at a press conference in Canberra, saying he had heard many complaints about the lack of progress and expressed dissatisfaction at the incomplete projects.[footnote 123] Mr Kent Hughes declared that 'Melbourne has the Games and Melbourne will finish them' and Prime Minister Menzies also made assurances that the Games would succeed.[footnote 124] A 'crisis' meeting of the Games Organising Committee, called soon afterwards, expressed complete confidence in Mr Kent Hughes as chairman and strengthened the authority of key personnel, including Lieutenant-General Bridgeford.[footnote 125]

Legislating for the Games

From mid-1955, Olympic Games construction projects started to move ahead with greater efficiency, as did the required legislation in the Parliament.[footnote 126] The Firearms (Olympic Games) Act 1955 was passed in October, which allowed for the licensing of certain categories of firearms to be used in Games competition.[footnote 127] The Bill for the Olympic Games Act 1955 was introduced by Premier Henry Bolte to facilitate the Games by validating agreements and arrangements made by the government and other public authorities, such as the Housing Commission and municipal councils.[footnote 128]

A Victorian referendum was held in March 1956 to extend hotel closing hours from 6pm to 10pm, but it was defeated, with only six of the 66 state electorates voting in favour of ten o'clock closing.[footnote 129] President of the United Licensed Victuallers Association, Mr J. Kellaway, said that Victorians had 'carried a vote of no confidence in themselves'.[footnote 130] An Argus newspaper editorial had raised the issue of Victoria's restrictive liquor licensing laws in 1949, saying that Olympic hospitality was a national matter.[footnote 131] Justice Allan Maxwell, who conducted the NSW Royal Commission on liquor laws, described Victorian attitudes to liquor licensing as 'laughable'. Nevertheless, the 'six o'clock swill' remained in place during the Games, being something of a curiosity for international visitors accustomed to more relaxed drinking and café cultures.[footnote 132]

The Victoria Promotion Committee was established in March 1956 to bring together leading Victorian business executives and state government officials, with the aim of generating publicity for Melbourne and attracting investment to Victoria.[footnote 133] Melbourne City Council made a request for special legislation in anticipation of the Games. The Freedom of the City of Melbourne Act 1956 was passed in September, to enable the Council to recognise people who had given distinguished service either locally or internationally.[footnote 134] The first person to receive the honour was the Duke of Edinburgh, during his visit for the Games.[footnote 135]

Unfortunately, Sir Frank Beaurepaire died suddenly in May 1956, missing the chance to see his Australian Olympic vision realised. It was also widely expected that he would have been made Lord Mayor prior to the Games.[footnote 136] Sir Frank Beaurepaire was remembered as a philanthropist, sportsman and a great Australian for his long career of dedicated public service.[footnote 137] He was considered to be the last of the three men who had done their utmost to secure the Games for Melbourne, along with Sir Raymond Connelly and Sir James Disney, who had passed away in January 1952.[footnote 138] Cr. Sir Frank Selleck agreed to stand for a third term as Lord Mayor, being elected unopposed in August 1956.[footnote 139]

Olympic sites declared ready

The September 1956 edition of the Organising Committee's official newsletter declared that the Olympic sites were ready, with the MCG being 'structurally complete' and the technical installations underway.[footnote 140] With three months to go, tickets sales had reached 700,000 and tickets were still available for most sports.[footnote 141] An arts festival was also planned to run for a month from 12 November, featuring sculpture, painting and Aboriginal art as well as performances by both the Sydney and Victorian Symphony Orchestras.[footnote 142]

Centenary celebration

On the day before the Olympic Games began, the Victorian Parliament celebrated its centenary of responsible government with a state luncheon, a garden party and a special sitting of both houses, which was opened by the Governor, Sir Dallas Brooks.[footnote 143] The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association presented gifts: a two-minute sand-glass for the Legislative Council and a pair of despatch boxes for the Legislative Assembly.[footnote 144] The United Kingdom Parliament also presented the Victorian Parliament with a stone griffin from the Palace of Westminster.[footnote 145] The day was capped off with a state dinner for 630 guests in the Royale Ballroom at the Exhibition Building, decorated with shields and flags of the Olympic nations.[footnote 146]

Crowds began lining up outside the MCG during the afternoon of 21 November for the Games opening ceremony the following day.[footnote 147] The MCG had a new grandstand, a cinder running track (installed after the 1956 football finals) and extensive facilities to house and cater for the world's press.[footnote 148] The Olympic torch had been on its way since 2 November 1956, when it was lit at Olympia in Greece.[footnote 149] A Qantas flight brought the Olympic flame to Australia, where it began its Australian relay journey in Darwin on 6 November and continued down the east coast, gathering larger crowds as it drew closer to Melbourne.[footnote 150]

The Games begin

The XVI Olympiad opened on the afternoon of 22 November 1956 at the MCG, with the formalities performed by the Duke of Edinburgh in front of a crowd of 100,000 people. After his declaration, there was a fanfare of trumpets and the Olympic flag was raised, followed by the release of 5,000 pigeons and a 21-gun salute.[footnote 151] The Olympic cauldron was lit from the torch carried by Ron Clarke and the Olympic Oath was taken by John Landy on behalf of the athletes.[footnote 152] Rower Merv Wood, competing in his fourth Olympics, carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony.[footnote 153] Over the next 16 days, 3,184 athletes from 67 nations competed in 145 events across 17 sports.[footnote 154] Australia fielded a large team of 314 athletes, including 44 women.[footnote 155]

The medal tally

The Australian team won a total of 35 medals (13 gold, eight silver and 14 bronze), coming third in the overall medal tally behind the USSR and the USA.[footnote 156] Sprinter Betty Cuthbert was the first Australian to win triple Olympic gold medals: in the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4 x 100 metres relay.[footnote 157]

Other Australian track stars at the Games included Shirley Strickland, who set an Olympic record in the 80 metre hurdles, and Marlene Mathews, who came third in the 100 metres and 200 metres finals.[footnote 158] John Landy (a future Governor of Victoria) took the bronze medal in the 1,500 metres. He was a crowd favourite, having won the Australian Mile Championships at Olympic Park earlier in the year, despite stopping mid-race to help fallen athlete Ron Clarke.[footnote 159] The 1,500 metre race was won by Irish runner Ron Delaney, who claimed Ireland's first gold medal in 24 years.[footnote 160]

Swimming was another sport in which Australia excelled. Aged just 17 years of age, Murray Rose won three gold medals in the pool in the 400 metres, 1,500 metres and as a member of the 4 x 200 metres freestyle relay team.[footnote 161] Jon Henricks won two gold medals, in the 100 metres freestyle and the 4 x 200 metres relay team.[footnote 162] Dawn Fraser also made her mark, winning gold in both the 100 metres freestyle (in record time) and the 4 x 100 metres freestyle relay, as well as coming second to fellow Australian Lorraine Crapp in the final of the 400 metres freestyle.[footnote 163]

Vladimir Kuts of the USSR won two gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre distance running events.[footnote 164] Bobby Morrow starred in a dominant United States track and field team with gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres, as well as the 4 x 100 metres relay.[footnote 165] The 1956 Games featured the first gold medal performance of Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who finished with four gold, one bronze and one silver medal.[footnote 166] Hungarian gymnast Ágnes Keleti also won six medals (four gold and two silver).[footnote 167] A major contributor to the Soviet supremacy in gymnastics at the Games was Viktor Churakin who won three gold medals, one bronze and one silver medal.[footnote 168] The marathon was won by Algerian-born Alain Mimoun who was victorious for the French team in a time of two hours and 25 minutes.[footnote 169]

The MCG was used for both the opening and closing ceremonies, the track and field events, the soccer and hockey finals and the demonstration sports (baseball and Australian Rules football).[footnote 170] The new Olympic Pool hosted the swimming, diving and water polo events in neighbouring Olympic Park, beside the soccer and hockey fields and the cycling velodrome.[footnote 171] The Exhibition Building was the site for the weightlifting and wrestling events and an extra annexe was built to house the basketball competition.[footnote 172]

Boxing and gymnastics events were held at West Melbourne Stadium (now known as Festival Hall).[footnote 173] St Kilda Town Hall hosted twelve days of fencing competition and the yachting events were held on Port Phillip Bay, with Lake Wendouree being the venue for rowing and canoeing.[footnote 174] Williamstown rifle range was used for the shooting events, except for clay pigeon shooting, which was held at Laverton. Broadmeadows was the base for both the modern pentathlon and the road cycling race.[footnote 175]

Influence of world events on the Games

The Games were not completely isolated from the turbulence of world events. Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq withdrew their participation in protest at Israel's invasion of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in late October.[footnote 176] The Soviet invasion of Hungary in early November resulted in the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland also boycotting the Melbourne Games.[footnote 177] Some of the international Cold War tensions played out in the men's water polo, where blood was spilled in the swimming pool in a violent round robin match between Hungary and the USSR (in which Hungary was declared the winner, 4-0).[footnote 178] After the Games, almost half of the Hungarian team members decided not to return home, with some staying in Australia and others finding their way to the United States.[footnote 179]

Televising the Games

Television began in Australia just in time for the Olympics. A 1953 federal Royal Commission inquiry into television had recommended that it be introduced gradually under government supervision, with an ABC station and two commercial channels in both Sydney and Melbourne.[footnote 180] Test transmissions took place in Melbourne for HSV7 and GTV9 in the months leading up to the Games and, along with ABV2, the stations were on air by the time the Olympics began.[footnote 181] All three stations televised the Olympics, using mobile vans linked by radio to their main studios and a 16mm film of daily events was sent to Sydney each evening for television broadcast.[footnote 182]

Mr Kent Hughes allowed local TV to cover the Games for a nominal fee but held firm to his conviction that overseas TV networks should pay for coverage rights.[footnote 183] It was such an unpopular decision that several major international networks, including the BBC and NBC, enacted a boycott.[footnote 184] The boycott was described as 'a calamity' by Cr. Maurice Nathan, chairman of the Victoria Promotion Committee.[footnote 185] Eventually the Organising Committee signed contracts with Sports TV in the USA, British film companies and France, but the exposure of the Melbourne Games to overseas audiences was limited.[footnote 186]

Conclusion of the Games

Towards the end of the Games, the Duke of Edinburgh entertained on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, holding a large party for guests that included Members of the Victorian Parliament and Melbourne City Council, presidents of Melbourne clubs and associations, service commanders, Olympic team representatives and members of the press.[footnote 187] State Parliament hosted its own reception in Queen's Hall for Australia's Olympic team on the evening of 7 December, with Premier Bolte declaring Australia's medal tally — which he described as a medal for every 260,000 of the population — to be 'a magnificent result'.[footnote 188]

The Melbourne Olympics became known as the 'Friendly Games' after adopting a suggestion from a young Melbourne man, later identified as John Ian Wing.[footnote 189] He wrote to the Organising Committee to suggest that the athletes at the closing ceremony on 8 December should not march in their separate national groups, but should walk together as one group ('war, politics and nationality will be all forgotten').[footnote 190] The change was approved in time for the last day of the Games and the more informal closing parade of athletes from all nations, mingling together, has since become a popular Olympic tradition.[footnote 191]

The Melbourne Olympics were over — as the world's youth were called upon to assemble in Rome for the next Olympiad in 1960, the Games were farewelled with much sadness.[footnote 192] One newspaper noted that even the Melbourne weather had 'played its part nobly'.[footnote 193] Prime Minister Menzies recalled the organisation, the spectacle and the spirit of international goodwill that pervaded the Games as 'a green and pleasant memory'.[footnote 194] The lasting benefits of the Games, including economic development, tourism and sports lay ahead — the 1956 Olympic Games were an important milestone in Melbourne's maturation and growth.[footnote 195]

 

Author

Debra Reeves, Research & Loans Officer

Parliamentary Library & Information Service,

Department of Parliamentary Services

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Endnotes

[footnote 1] (1949) 'Melbourne to stage 1956 Olympic Games', The Age, 30 April, p. 4.

[footnote 2] ibid.

[footnote 3] G. Davison (1997) 'Welcoming the world: The 1956 Olympic Games and the re-presentation of Melbourne', in J. Murphy & J. Smart (eds.) (1997) The forgotten fifties: Aspects of Australian society and culture in the 1950s, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press (Special issue of Australian Historical Studies, 28 (109), October 1997), p. 69.

[footnote 4] The Organising Committee of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956 (1958) The Official report of the Organising Committee of the XVI Olympiad Melbourne 1956, Melbourne, W.M. Houston, Government Printer, p. 30.

[footnote 5] H. Gordon (1994) Australia and the Olympic Games, St Lucia, University of Queensland Press, p. 193.

[footnote 6] M. McGinness (2002) 'Tanner, Sir Edgar Stephen (1904-1979)', Australian Dictionary of Biography online.

[footnote 7] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 193.

[footnote 8] ibid., p. 194.

[footnote 9] J. R. Poynter (1979) 'Beaurepaire, Sir Francis Joseph Edmund (Frank) (1891-1956)', Australian Dictionary of Biography online.

[footnote 10] G. Davison (1997) op. cit., p. 67.

[footnote 11] M. McGinness (2002) op. cit.

[footnote 12] (1947) 'Teams for Olympiad', The Age, 18 June, p. 9; (1948) 'Olympic Games request', The Age, 24 January, p. 3; (1948) 'Popular Lord Mayor knighted', Advocate, 8 January, p. 4.

[footnote 13] (1948) 'Olympic team to be chosen in Melbourne', The Argus, 2 March, p. 12.

[footnote 14] (1948) 'Melbourne makes bid for Olympiad', The Age, 21 May, p. 2.

[footnote 15] ibid.

[footnote 16] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 194.

[footnote 17] D. Dunstan (1986) 'Luxton, Sir Harold Daniel (1888-1957)', Australian Dictionary of Biography online. Sir Harold Luxton was Lord Mayor from 1928 to 1931 and the MLA for Caulfield from 1930 to 1935.

[footnote 18] G. Davison (1997) op. cit., p. 68.

[footnote 19] (1948) 'Govt. behind Games drive', 17 August, The Age, p. 3.

[footnote 20] ibid.

[footnote 21] (1948) 'Melbourne 'certain' for games', The Argus, 20 September, p. 3.

[footnote 22] (1948) 'Good chance for Olympics in Melbourne', The Age, 28 September, p. 8.

[footnote 23] (1948) 'Show grounds as Olympic site', The Age, 18 December, p. 3.

[footnote 24] ibid.; Sir James Disney was the former MLC for Higinbotham from 1940 to 1946 and he received a knighthood in January 1951 after three terms as Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

[footnote 25] (1948) 'Lord Mayor defends site for Games', The Argus, 21 December, p. 16.

[footnote 26] (1948) 'Olympic rule says Federation must control Games', The Argus, 23 December, p. 12.

[footnote 27] (1949) 'Planning gained Olympics for Melbourne', Sydney Morning Herald, 30 April, p. 2.

[footnote 28] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 194.

[footnote 29] ibid.

[footnote 30] (1949) 'Olympiad chances were dim, but Melbourne had close win', The Argus, 30 April, p. 7.

[footnote 31] G. Davison (1997) op. cit., p. 68.

[footnote 32] The Organising Committee of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956 (1958) op cit., p. 30.

[footnote 33] (1949) 'Dynamic career of public service', The Age, 5 May, p. 2.

[footnote 34] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 196.

[footnote 35] G. Davison (1997) op. cit., p. 69.

[footnote 36] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 196.

[footnote 37] K. Dunstan (2000) The people's ground: The MCG, Melbourne, Arcadia, p. 197.

[footnote 38] (1949) 'Squabbles begin over Olympic Games site', The Argus, 2 May, p. 1.

[footnote 39] (1949) 'Games site switch to MCG now likely', The Argus, 5 July, p. 1.

[footnote 40] (1949) 'MCG 'not suitable Olympic Games site'', The Argus, 16 July, p. 3.

[footnote 41] (1949) 'Federation move brings Games planning closer', The Argus, 10 October, p. 15.

[footnote 42] ibid.

[footnote 43] (1949) 'Games Committee begins big task', The Age, 14 November, p. 3.

[footnote 44] M. McGinness (2002) op. cit.

[footnote 45] (1949) 'No decision for six months', The Age, 5 December, p. 1.

[footnote 46] (1950) 'M.C.G. for Games conditionally: Big alterations to arena required', The Age, 3 April, p. 1; K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., p. 197-198.

[footnote 47] ibid.

[footnote 48] G. Davison (1997) op. cit., p. 69.

[footnote 49] K. Moses (1950) 'Beaurepaire ousted as Games chief', The Argus, 20 June, p. 1.

[footnote 50] (1950) 'Olympics site chosen; both factions share', The Argus, 16 October, p. 1.

[footnote 51] I. R. Hancock (2000) 'Kent Hughes, Sir Wilfrid Selwyn (Billy) (1895–1970)', Australian Dictionary of Biography online.

[footnote 52] ibid.

[footnote 53] (1950) 'Committee criticises tourist facilities', The Age, 16 November, p. 4.

[footnote 54] State Development Committee (1950) Interim report of State Development Committee on tourist facilities and national parks, Melbourne, J. J. Gourley, Government Printer, p. 5.

[footnote 55] ibid., p. 6.

[footnote 56] (1954) 'Olympic Games: Accommodation for visitors', Emerald Hill Record, 31 July, p. 7.

[footnote 57] (1954) 'Home hospitality for Olympic visitors', The Age, 19 July, p. 2.

[footnote 58] (1951) 'Beaurepaire to resign', Sporting Globe,
20 January, p. 1; (1952) 'Olympic Games nominations', The Age, 18 April, p. 7.

[footnote 59] (1951) 'Kent Hughes gets Games appointment', The Argus, 19 May 1951.

[footnote 60] (1951) 'Shortages may cause withdrawal of aid', The Age, 6 April, p. 1.

[footnote 61] ibid.

[footnote 62] (1951) 'Premier wants definite proposals submitted', The Age, 10 April, p. 5.

[footnote 63] (1951) 'Games organisers still confident: Expect all problems to be overcome', The Age, 17 April, p. 10.

[footnote 64] (1951) 'Company formed to run Olympics', The Age, 18 September, p. 1.

[footnote 65] ibid.

[footnote 66] (1951) 'Federal offer of Games finance: Support for M.C.G., not Show Ground', The Age, 17 October, p. 4.

[footnote 67] (1951) 'Olympic official's Games warning', Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October, p. 3.

[footnote 68] (1951) 'The Games 'wrangle'', The Argus, 26 October, p. 18.

[footnote 69] (1951) 'M.C.G. wanted for Olympic Games: Another request to be made to trustees', The Age, 17 November, p. 1.

[footnote 70] (1951) 'Bill today on bigger M.C.G.', The Argus, 27 November, p. 5.

[footnote 71] (1951) '£1,300,000 for Games at M.C.G.', The Age, 15 November, p. 3.

[footnote 72] (1951) 'New Games scheme may win M.C.G.: Trust hopes to reach decision this month', The Age, 4 December, p. 4.

[footnote 73] (1952) 'M.C.G. refused as Olympic Games site', The Age, 12 February, p. 1.

[footnote 74] (1952) 'M.C.G. best for Games', The Argus, 13 February, p. 5.

[footnote 75] Editorial (1952) 'Games wrangling must cease', The Age, 13 February, p.2.

[footnote 76] K. Moses (1952) 'The Games are saved – And Carlton is stadium', The Argus, 20 March, p. 1.

[footnote 77] ibid.

[footnote 78] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 196.

[footnote 79] (1952) 'Carlton Oval to hold 125,000 for Olympics', The Age, 6 June, p. 3.

[footnote 80] (1952) 'Labor inquiry on Olympic Games', The Age, 22 December, p. 1.

[footnote 81] (1953) 'Cain calls stadium work off', The Argus, 15 January, p. 1.

[footnote 82] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 197.

[footnote 83] K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., p. 199.

[footnote 84] (1953) 'Support for Games on M.C.G.: Earlier decision of club reversed', The Age, p. 1.

[footnote 85] K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., p. 199.

[footnote 86] (1953) 'M.C.G. approved as Games site: I.O.C. head invited to see ground', The Age, 3 February, p. 1.

[footnote 87] (1953) 'Threat by Cain to withhold funds forces M.C.G. choice', The Argus, 3 February, p. 1; K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., p. 200.

[footnote 88] (1953) 'M.C.G. approved as Games site: I.O.C. head invited to see ground', The Age, 3 February, p. 1.

[footnote 89] (1953) 'Threat by Cain to withhold funds forces M.C.G. choice', The Argus, 3 February, p. 1.

[footnote 90] (1953) 'Games chief: Action before April – or lose Olympics', The Age, 5 February, p. 13.

[footnote 91] (1953) 'Olympic chiefs talk on Games: British officials to support Melbourne', The Age, 2 March, p. 3.

[footnote 92] (1953) 'Melbourne retains 1956 Olympics', Brisbane Telegraph, 20 April, p. 22.

[footnote 93] (1953) ''Lift horse quarantine rules' for Olympics', Weekly Times, 25 February, p. 3.

[footnote 94] K. Moses (1954) 'Our horse rule rebounds', The Argus, 9 June, p. 26; I. Jobling (1998) 'Strained beginnings and friendly farewells: The Games of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956' in Stadion ‐ International Journal of the History of Sport, 21/22, pp. 253-256.

[footnote 95] (1953) 'State says yes to village plan: We can meet all demands – Mr. Coles', The Age, 25 March, p. 1; P. Strangio & B. Costar (eds) (2006) The Victorian Premiers: 1856-2006, Annandale, Federation Press, p. 265.

[footnote 96] ibid.

[footnote 97] (1953) 'The village 'crisis' is over at last', The Argus, 25 March, p. 1.

[footnote 98] (1953) 'Olympic village to be built at Heidelberg: Solid support by Cabinet', The Age, 22 September, p. 1.

[footnote 99] (1952) 'Toorak Rd. pool site', The Argus, 9 August, p. 1.

[footnote 100] (1952) 'Plan for pool sought', The Argus, 16 October, p. 12; (1952) 'Olympic swimming stadium plan chosen', The Age, 26 December, p.3; The winning architects were Kevin Borland, Peter McIntyre and John and Phyllis Murphy.

[footnote 101] (1953) 'Plea for Olympic pool at St. Kilda', The Argus, 30 January, p. 7.

[footnote 102] (1953) 'Moves to change Games control', The Age, 15 May, p. 3.

[footnote 103] ibid.; (1953) 'Secret meetings today will 'thrash out' new Games crisis', The Argus, 22 May, p. 1.

[footnote 104] (1953) 'Mr. Coles resigns from Games: Decision shocks Olympic chief', The Age, 21 May, p. 1.

[footnote 105] (1953) 'Mr. Coleman is new chairman', Advocate, 26 May, p. 2.

[footnote 106] (1953) 'Olympic Park fixed as Games pool site', The Argus, 28 May, p. 1.

[footnote 107] ibid.

[footnote 108] (1953) 'Gen. Bridgeford is appointed new Games chief', The Argus, 10 June, p. 1.

[footnote 109] (1953) 'Mr. Nixon liked our city and we liked him', The Age, 20 October, p. 3.

[footnote 110] ibid.

[footnote 111] (1953) 'Mr. Nixon expects Games success', The Age, 20 October, p. 5.

[footnote 112] ibid.

[footnote 113] ibid.

[footnote 114] K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., p. 201.

[footnote 115] Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG Historical timeline, MCG website.

[footnote 116] Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1954) 'The Queen's speech', Debates, Victorian Legislative Council, 25 February, p. 2; (1954) Brilliant ball ends Queen's big day, The Age, 26 February, p. 1.

[footnote 117] (1954) 'Queen patron of Olympics', The Age, 5 June, p. 3; (1955) 'Duke's Games visit 'an honor'', The Argus, 26 February, p. 9.

[footnote 118] (1954) 'Guarantee for M.C.G. loan', The Age, 5 May, p. 9.

[footnote 119] ibid.

[footnote 120] K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., pp. 201-202.

[footnote 121] (1955) 'Peace at the M.C.G.', The Argus, 19 April, p. 11.

[footnote 122] (1955) 'Three other cities ready, able to stage Olympics', The Argus, 12 April, p. 6.

[footnote 123] (1955) 'Brundage bristles at M.H.R.'s promises', The Argus, 13 April, p. 1.

[footnote 124] (1955) 'Prime Minister promises Games 'will succeed'', Canberra Times, 13 April, p. 1.

[footnote 125] ibid.

[footnote 126] (1956) 'Will Olympic stand be ready?', The Argus, 3 January, p. 5.

[footnote 127] A. Rylah, Chief Secretary (1955) 'Firearms (Olympic Games) Bill', Debates, Victorian Legislative Assembly, 20 September, pp. 473-475.

[footnote 128] H. Bolte, Premier and Treasurer (1955) 'Olympic Games Bill', Debates, Victorian Legislative Assembly, 10 November, pp. 1558-1559.

[footnote 129] (1956) 'No late drinks for the games', The Argus, 26 March, p. 1.

[footnote 130] ibid.

[footnote 131] Editorial (1949) 'Olympic hospitality', The Argus, 7 May, p. 2.

[footnote 132] M. Harden (2009) Melbourne: the making of a drinking and eating capital, Melbourne, Hardie Grant Books, p. 45.

[footnote 133] R. G. Kerr [footnote 1992?] Some aspects of overseas investment in Victoria: a short history of the Victoria Promotion Committee, 1956-1982. East Kew, Victoria, pp. 15-16.

[footnote 134] G. L. Chandler, Minister of Agriculture (1955) 'Freedom of the City of Melbourne Bill', Debates, Victorian Legislative Council, 17 April, p. 2441.

[footnote 135] (1956) 'Where you'll see the Duke in town today', The Argus, 3 December, p. 7.

[footnote 136] (1956) 'Sudden death of Sir Frank Beaurepaire', Canberra Times, 30 May, p. 2.

[footnote 137] E. Knox (1956) 'Sir Frank – A great Australian', The Argus, 30 May, p. 4.

[footnote 138] (1956) 'The last secret of Sir Frank …', The Argus, 30 May, p. 1; (1952) 'Death of Sir James Disney', The Age, 21 January, p. 1.

[footnote 139] (1956) 'Selleck back today', The Argus, 27 August, p. 5.

[footnote 140] Olympic Games Organising Committee, XVI Olympiad: Official news service, September 1, 1956, No. 13, p. 1.

[footnote 141] ibid., p. 2.

[footnote 142] ibid.

[footnote 143] R. Wright (1992) A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, p. 196.

[footnote 144] ibid.

[footnote 145] ibid.; (1956) 'He came a cropper on a rock!', The Argus, 10 May 1956, p. 1.

[footnote 146] (1956) 'A marathon to remember: The day wives set a record', The Argus, 22 November, p. 9.

[footnote 147] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 203.

[footnote 148] K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., pp. 205-206.

[footnote 149] B. Howard (1995) 15 days in '56: The first Australian Olympics, Pymble, Angus and Roberston, pp. 22-26.

[footnote 150] ibid., p. 26.

[footnote 151] The Organising Committee of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956 (1958) op. cit., p.234.

[footnote 152] D. Garden (1984) Victoria: A history, Melbourne, Nelson, pp. 417-418.

[footnote 153] H. Gordon, AOC Historian, Mervyn Wood, Australian Olympic Committee website.

[footnote 154] B. Howard (1995) op. cit., p. 208.

[footnote 155] ibid.

[footnote 156] Melbourne 1956 (Medal tally), Australian Olympic Committee website.

[footnote 157] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., p. 210.

[footnote 158] ibid., pp. 206-209.

[footnote 159] H. Gordon (2004) Athletics Australia Hall of Fame: John Landy, Athletics Australia website.

[footnote 160] K. Dunstan (2000) op. cit., p. 209.

[footnote 161] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., pp. 215-219.

[footnote 162] ibid.

[footnote 163] ibid., pp. 214-215.

[footnote 164] ibid., p. 210.

[footnote 165] I. Jobling (1998) op. cit., p. 260.

[footnote 166] Larisa Latynina, International Olympic Committee website.

[footnote 167] Άgnes Kaleti, International Olympic Committee website.

[footnote 168] Victor Churakin, International Olympic Committee website.

[footnote 169] I. Jobling (1998) op. cit., p. 261.

[footnote 170] The Organising Committee of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956 (1958) op. cit., pp. 38-42.

[footnote 171] ibid., pp. 41-42.

[footnote 172] ibid., p.43.

[footnote 173] ibid., p. 42.

[footnote 174] ibid., pp. 42-44.

[footnote 175] ibid., p.47.

[footnote 176] Melbourne – Stockholm, All Facts: The first Games boycott, International Olympic Committee website.

[footnote 177] ibid.

[footnote 178] I. Jobling (1998) op. cit., p. 259.

[footnote 179] J. Zoltan & S. Malik (2013) Blood in the water: The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, SBS website.

[footnote 180] Timeline: 1950-59, Television.au website.

[footnote 181] 'Chumley' (1956) 'National TV makes a flying start', The Argus, 20 November, p. 3; P. Beilby (ed) (1981) Australian TV: The first 25 years, Melbourne, Thomas Nelson, p. 9.

[footnote 182] Timeline: 1950-59, op. cit.; I. Jobling (1998) op. cit., p. 260.

[footnote 183] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., pp. 222-223.

[footnote 184] ibid.

[footnote 185] (1956) 'TV boycott on Olympics', The Argus, 21 September, p. 1.

[footnote 186] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., pp. 222-223; G. Davison (1997) op. cit., p. 73.

[footnote 187] (1956) 'The day the Duke entertained', The Argus, 7 December, p. 9.

[footnote 188] (1956) 'The athletes sing for Mr. Bolte', The Argus, 8 December, p. 3.

[footnote 189] H. Gordon (1994) op. cit., pp. 224-225; (1956) 'A boy's 'idea of a century'', The Argus, 10 December, p. 5.

[footnote 190] ibid.

[footnote 191] ibid.

[footnote 192] G. Williams (1956) 'We sang Games a sad farewell', The Argus, 10 December, p. 20.

[footnote 193] (1956) 'Games praised by visitors', Canberra Times, 10 December, p. 10.

[footnote 194] The Organising Committee of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956 (1958) op. cit., pp. 13-14.

[footnote 195] G. Davison (1997) op. cit., pp. 75-76.