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Stockholm 1956 Torch Relay Getty Images

Route design and details

With the exception of the Opening Ceremony, in Denmark and Sweden, the relay took place entirely on horseback as a reminder that only the equestrian events were being staged in Stockholm.

The flame was lit in Olympia then relayed to Athens. It then flew to Kastrup airport, near Copenhagen, where a relay was staged to the capital. It then headed for Malmö in Sweden. There it was carried into the city. It continued its journey to Sörentorp and finally to Stockholm.

At the Opening Ceremony, Swedish cavalry captain Hans Wilkne entered the Stadium at a gallop, saluted the King, the IOC members and the Games participants, and lit the cauldron, which burned throughout the Games. The flame was then passed to Karin Lindberg, a gold medallist in gymnastics in Helsinki in 1952, who then passed on part of the flame to Swedish runner and gold medallist in the 1,500 metres at the London 1948 Games, Henry Eriksson. Both ran, torch in hand, around the Stadium forming the shape of a horse shoe, one on each side, to arrive at the two towers and light the summit of each with a flame.

Stockholm 1956 Relay route IOC

Start date: 2 June 1956, Olympia (Greece)
End date: 10 June 1956, Olympic Stadium, Stockholm (Sweden)
First torchbearer: Takis Constantinidis
Last torchbearer: Hans Wikne, Olympic participant in equestrian sports (1964)
Number of torchbearers: 330 in Greece and ~160 in Denmark and Sweden
Recruitment of torchbearers: In Sweden, the horse riders were chosen through equestrian clubs.
Distance: 325 km in Greece (aerial transport and Denmark-Sweden relay excluded).
Countries visited: Greece, Denmark, Sweden


Stockholm 1956 Torch

A similar torch to Melbourne, but shorter, was used for the Stockholm relay

Did you know?

Due to the fact that the equestrian events could not be held in Melbourne because of Australian quarantine regulations, an additional relay took place between Olympia and Stockholm where these events were staged in June 1956. This was the only time that for the same edition of the Summer Games, two Olympic flames were lit in the same year.


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