VII Olympic Winter Games
In 1956, it was Italy’s turn to host the 7th edition of the Olympic Winter Games. For the first time, a woman, Giuliana Minuzzo, read the Olympic oath.
Canadian athletes won three medals at the Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Lucile Wheeler won Canada’s first skiing medal with a bronze in downhill. On these slopes, a new idol was born. Austrian Toni Sailer recorded the first grand slam, winning all events by a wide margin. In the giant slalom, he finished six seconds ahead of his closest pursuer.
The other medals for Canada came from Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden, who won silver in pairs figure skating, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen, who took the bronze medal in hockey. Making its first Winter Olympic appearance, the Soviet Union breezed through the hockey tournament unbeaten.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Giuliana Chenal-Minuzzo (alpine skiing)
Olympic Oath (officials): none
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Guido Caroli
Official Opening: President Giovanni Gronchi