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These Games marked the debut of the USSR team, which immediately won more medals than any other nation. Their speed skaters won three of the four events, while their ice hockey team ended Canada’s domination.
Pavel Kolchin of the USSR became the first non-Scandinavian to earn a medal in cross country skiing. Madeleine Berthod of Switzerland celebrated her birthday by winning the downhill by an amazing 4.7 seconds. The US dominated figure skating: Tenley Albright won the women’s title and Hayes Alan Jenkins led an all-American medal sweep on the men’s side.
Austrian Toni Sailer became the first Alpine skier to win three Olympic gold medals. He began by winning the giant slalom by 6.2 seconds, the largest margin of victory in Olympic history. He then won the slalom, recording the fastest time in both runs, and the downhill by 3.5 seconds.
The Olympic Oath was sworn by a female athlete for the first time. The honour was given to the Italian Alpine skier Giuliana Chenal-Minuzzo, bronze medallist in the downhill at the 1952 Oslo Games.
Athletes: 821 (134 women, 687 men)
A symbolic flame is lit in Rome's ancient Capitol.
The Cortina Games were the last Games at which the figure skating competitions took place outdoors.
For the first time in the history of the Games, the Olympic Oath was sworn by a female athlete- the skier Giuliana Chenal Minuzzo, bronze medallist in the downhill at the 1952 Oslo Games
In the ski jumping competition, the Finnish team inaugurated a new aerodynamic style, which consisted of holding the arms flat against the body rather than over the head in a diving position.
Soviet athletes at the Winter Games.
Cortina 26 January 1956. Opening Ceremony : Giuliana Chenal Minuzzo pronounces the Olympic Oath.
Official opening of the Games by:
President Giovanni Gronchi
Lighting the Olympic Flame by:
Guido Caroli (speed skating)
Olympic Oath by:
Giuliana Chenal Minuzzo (alpine skiing)
Officials' Oath by:
The officials' oath at an Olympic Winter Games was first sworn in 1972 at Sapporo.
It represents a stylized snowflake with the five rings surmounted by a star in the middle, representing the emblem of the Italian National Olympic Committee. The site of the host city appeared under this emblem.
This emblem was chosen from amongst 86 models presented by 79 artists. The Milanese artist Franco Rondinelli shared first prize with the Genoan artist Bonilauri.
On the obverse, the head of an idealized woman, crowned with the five rings. The Olympic flame appears in the foreground. The inscription "VII GIOCHI OLIMPICI INVERNALI" surrounds the scene.
On the reverse, Mount Pomagagnon, one of the principal symbols of the Games, topped by a snow crystal. The inscription around reads: "CITIUS ALTIUS FORTIUS - CORTINA 1956".
Number of torchbearers: unknown
Total distance: unknown
Countries crossed: Greece, Italy
It takes up the theme of the official emblem, made up of the emblem of the Italian National Olympic Committee, as well as a view of the site of the host city. 11,000 copies were made.
Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956 Published by the Italian Olympic Committee in 1957, the “VII Olympic Winter Games, Cortina d'Ampezzo, 1956: official report” is extremely rich. It consists of one bilingual Italian/English volume of almost 800 pages.