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40 years ago: Melbourne 1956

The XVI Games of the Summer Olympiad finished on 8 December 1956, four decades ago, in Melbourne. 3,314 athletes were present representing 67 nations who vied for glory in 19 sports. That was the first Olympic Games in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australians had to face several obstacles, one of the gravest of which was raising the funds to hold the Games. Eventually, the host State of Victoria had to resort to the financial assistance from the central government to be able to construct the necessary facilities. Due to the strict Australian veterinary regulations and restrictions, the equestrian events had to be held – instead of Melbourne – at an earlier time in June in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

As for weightlifting: Olympic champion titles were awarded in seven bodyweight categories. Only two countries won gold: the USA athletes were best with four, the Soviet Union was second best with three gold medals each. The duel was decided on the last day when in the heavyweight category, the then plus 90kg, Paul Anderson triumphed with a round 500kg total result, including snatch, press and clean and jerk.