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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Melbourne 1956
Soviet runner Vladimir Kuts
Vladimir Kuts won both the 5000m and 10,000m
Did you know?
These were the first Olympics to be held in the southern hemisphere
With Australia unwilling to change its six-month animal quarantine period, the equestrian events for the Melbourne Games were held in Stockholm in June.

And the location of the Olympics posed problems for many athletes from Europe and America.

Acclimatisation was a problem and many competitors did not have sufficient funds to allow them to stay in advance.

Travelling costs also saw the number of participants decrease and a number of nations withdrew.

Taiwan's involvement saw China pull out, the Suez crisis ruled out Egypt and Lebanon, while Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland all withdrew in protest at the Soviet invasion of Hungary.

Political events even had a bearing on some competitions. A water polo match between Hungary and the USSR was abandoned because of the misconduct of some players.

Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina won four gold medals, and six in total, while home favourite Betty Cuthbert claimed three sprint golds in track and field.

Emil Zatopek retired after finishing sixth in the marathon and Soviet Vladimir Kuts took his titles in both the 5,000m and 10,000m.





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