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Olympic Games

VII (7th) WINTER GAMES
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, ITALY | Jan 26th - Feb 5th, 1956


Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA


Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
VIIth WINTER GAMES

January 26 - February 5, 1956

Mascot - none

32 countries, 820 athletes (132 women)

4 sports, 24 events

Opening - President Giovanni Gronchi

Torch lit by - Guido Caroli (figure skating)

Candidates: Colorado Springs, Lake Placid, Montreal

This was Italy's turn. Originally scheduled to host the 1944 Games, Cortina finally got its chance. Cortina, one of the most beautiful winter resorts in the world, hosted the seventh edition of the winter Olympics. The oath was read by Giuliana Minuzzo. She was the first woman to do so in the history of the Olympics. The Olympic flame was lit at the Campidoglio in Rome and blessed by the Pope. A live television broadcast came to the Winter Games for the first time, as Italian television (RAI) provided live coverage. The Games saw the arrival of a new national team at the quadrennial Olympic gathering: the Soviet Union. And did the Soviets make an impression. East and West German athletes competed together under a unified flag.

But the Soviet Union, competing in its first Olympic Winter Games, was the major story. Soviets won 7 of 24 events. Austrian skier Toni Sailer was a dominating force of his own, sweeping the downhill, slalom and giant slalom by a large margin. This feat was duplicated by Jean-Claude Killy twelve years later.

The Soviet Union swept all but the 10,000m in the speed skating events. The 10,000m was won by Sweden's Sigvard Ericsson, leaving Norway without a gold medal in speed skating for the first time in 24 years. The Norwegians did have better luck in the area of cross-country skiing, with 1952 defending gold medallist Hallgeir Brenden again winning gold. However the Norwegians suffered more disappointment in ski jumping, in which their highest finish was ninth.

The Americans performed well in figure skating, with Hayes Jenkins picking up where Dick Button left off. Jenkins won the men's competition, while Tenley Albright won the ladies' competition, with teammate Carol Heiss taking the silver.

Italy and Switzerland won the two- and four-man bobsled events respectively. The Soviet Union once again made its presence felt in winning the hockey competition without losing a game; beating both USA (4-0) and the Canadian masters (2-0). In something of a surprise, the United States finished second, and the Canadians third, marking the first time the Americans finished in front of the Canadians in Olympic competition.

Competing in its first Winter Olympic Games, the Soviet Union led the medals table with 16.

1924 
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1932 
1936 
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1952 
1956 
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1968 
1972 
1976 
1980 
1984 
1988 
1992 
1994 
1998 
2002 
2006 
2010 

 

 

4 sports, 24 events

U
R
S

A
U
T

F
I
N

S
U
I

S
W
E

U
S
A

N
O
R

I
T
A

G
E
R

 

BOBSLEIGH

     

1

     

1

 

2

ICE HOCKEY

1

               

1

SKATING

                   

Figure Skating

 

1

     

2

     

3

Speed Skating

4

     

1

       

5*

SKIING

                   

Alpine Skiing

 

3

 

2

       

1

6

Cross-Country Skiing

2

 

2

 

1

 

1

   

7

Nordic Combined

           

1

   

1

Ski Jumping

   

1

           

1

TOTAL

7

4

3

3

2

2

2

1

1

25

* 2 gold medals awarded in 1500m Speed Skating

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

(2 new events)
(17 Men, 6 Women, 1 Combined Events)

BOBSLEIGH
M\Two-Man: Lamberto della Costa/Giacomo Conti, Italy
M\Four-Man: Switzerland

ICE HOCKEY
Men's Team: Soviet Union

SKIING

ALPINE SKIING

M\Downhill: Anton Sailer, Austria
M\Slalom: Anton Sailer, Austria
M\Giant Slalom: Anton Sailer, Austria
W\Downhill: Madeleine Berthod, Switzerland
W\Slalom: Renee Colliard, Switzerland
W\Giant Slalom: Ossi Reichert, Germany

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
M\15km Classical: Hallgeir Brenden, Norway
M\30km Classical: Veikko Hakulinen, Finland
M\50km Classical: Sixten Jernberg, Sweden
M\4x10km Relay: Soviet Union
W\10km Classical: Lyubov Baranova, USSR
W\3x5km Relay: Finland

NORDIC COMBINED
M\Individual: Sverre Stenersen, Norway

SKI JUMPING

M\K-90 Individual: Antti Hyvarinen, Finland

SKATING

FIGURE SKATING
M\Singles: Hayes Alan Jenkins, United States
W\Singles: Tenley Albright, United States
Pairs: Elisabeth Schwartz/Kurt Oppelt, Austria

SPEED SKATING
M\500m: Yevgeny Grishin, USSR
M\1500m: Yevgeny Grishin, USSR & Yuri Mikahilov, USSR (tie)
M\5000m: Boris Shilkov, USSR
M\10000m: Sigvard Ericsson, Sweden

Country

G

S

B

TTL

USSR 

7

3

6

16

Austria

4

3

4

11

Finland

3

3

1

7

Switzerland

3

2

1

6

Sweden

2

4

4

10

United States

2

3

2

7

Norway

2

1

1

4

Italy

1

2

0

3

Germany

1

0

1

2

Canada

0

1

2

3

Japan

0

1

0

1

Hungary

0

0

1

1

Poland

0

0

1

1

TOTAL

25

23

24

72

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