|Prize Medals 1956
The design for the prize medals which was
adopted by the International Olympic Committee for the Amsterdam Games
in 1928 and struck for each subsequent Games, was again agreed upon. The
original design was modelled by Professor Cassiole of Florence, Italy.
The only alteration was to change the appropriate wording to " XVIth Olympiad
Winners of individual events and members of
winning teams were awarded silver-gilt medals ; second and third in each
category were awarded silver and bronze medals respectively.
The rule as to the award of prize medals
reads, inter alia-
" . . . In team events only members of the
first, second and third teams who have participated in the final or 3rd-4th
match respectively shall be awarded the silver-gilt medals, silver medals
and bronze medals and diplomas. Those who have represented the first, second
and third teams but have not participated in the final or 3rd-4th match
are entitled to receive a diploma. No competitor shall receive more than
one medal for the same performance in a combined individual and team competition."
It was the intention of the I.O.C. that this
rule should apply to Melbourne, but as it had not been enforced for the
equestrian events at Stockholm, which formed an integral part of the Games
of the XVI Olympiad, it was therefore decided that the old rule whereby
athletes were entitled to more than one medal for the same performance
should also apply at Melbourne.
This rule, however, merits careful study with
a view to clearer expression for future organizers since it contains ambiguities
; in boxing, for instance, the losing semi-finalists in each weight category
do not fight off for third place and are judged to be equal third. There
are, moreover, different views as to what constitutes a reserve. Only by
defining in the rule those sports which are entitled to claim additional
medals, will the anomalies be rectified. It should also be defined which
are the team events. Are eights, fours and pairs, for example, in rowing
to be classified as team events ? Similarly, why are pairs in canoeing
classified as team events and the tandem event in cycling as an individual
In gymnastics team events, more competitors
than the scoring number of five are allowed to compete in a team. Should
those which follow the scoring five in a team be awarded medals or should
they be treated as reserves ?
The I.O.C. new Rule 41 which lays down that
medals must bear the name of the sport concerned, was brought into operation
in June, 1956. As the prize medals had already been manufactured by this
time, the President of the I.O.C. agreed that this section of the rule
should be waived for the Melbourne Games.
Prize medals were ordered and distributed
as follows : silver-gilt ordered, 280, distributed, 273 ; silver ordered,
280, distributed, 273 ; bronze ordered, 290, distributed, 281. Additional
bronze medals were required because the I.O.C. ruled that both of the losing
semi-finalists in each weight category of boxing should receive bronze
medals rather than fight a deciding bout.
Prize medals were presented in velvet-lined
cases. The cases were cream with a label in blue for first, in red for
second and in green for third.
(Source document: Official
Report 1956 Melbourne, page 99)