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The 1956 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, from 22 November to 8 December 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which were held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1956.
|Host city||Melbourne, Australia / Stockholm, Sweden|
|Athletes||3,314 (2,938 men, 376 women)|
|Events||151 in 17 sports (23 disciplines)|
|Opening||22 November 1956|
|Closing||8 December 1956|
|Stadium||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
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|1956 Summer Olympics|
These Games were the first to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania, as well as the first to be held outside Europe and North America. Melbourne is the most southerly city ever to host the Olympics. Due to the Southern Hemisphere's seasons being different from those in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1956 Games did not take place at the usual time of year, because of the need to hold the events during the warmer weather of the host's spring/summer (which corresponds to the Northern Hemisphere's autumn/winter), resulting in the only summer games ever to be held in November and December. Australia hosted the Games for a second time in 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, and will host them again in 2032 in Brisbane, Queensland.
The Olympic equestrian events could not be held in Melbourne due to Australia's strict quarantine regulations, so they were held in Stockholm five months earlier. This was the second time the Olympics were not held entirely in one country, the first being the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, with some events taking place in Ostend, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Despite uncertainties and various complications encountered during the preparations, the 1956 Games went ahead in Melbourne as planned and turned out to be a success. Started during the 1956 Games was the "Parade of Athletes" at the closing ceremonies.
Eight teams boycotted the Games for various reasons. Four teams (Egypt, Iraq, Cambodia and Lebanon) boycotted in response to the Suez Crisis, in which Egypt was invaded by Israel, France and the United Kingdom. Three teams (the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland) boycotted in response to the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and the People's Republic of China's boycott was in response to a dispute with the Republic of China over the right to represent China.
The Soviet Union won the most gold medals, and the most medals overall.
One of the most notable events of the games was a controversial water polo match between the Soviet Union and the defending champions, Hungary. The Soviet Union had recently suppressed an anti-Soviet revolution in Hungary and violence broke out between the teams during the match, resulting in numerous injuries. When Ervin Zádor suffered bleeding after being punched by Valentin Prokopov, spectators attempted to join the violence, but they were blocked by police. The match was cancelled, with Hungary being declared the winner because they were in the lead.