National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
26 january – 5 february 1956

The 1956 Winter Olympics, held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, were most notable for the first appearance by a team from the USSR. The Soviets 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 became the first non-Scandinavian to earn a medal in cross-country skiing. Anton Sailer won all three men's races in Alpine skiing - the first clean sweep in Olympic history. Madeleine Berthod celebrated her birthday by winning the downhill by an amazing 4.7 seconds. The United States began to emerge as a definite power in figure skating as Tenley Albright won the women's title and Hayes Alan Jenkins led an American medal sweep on the men's side. The Cortina Games were the first to be televised and the last at which the figure skating competitions were held outdoors.

32 NOCs (Nations)
821 athletes (134 women, 687 men)
24 events