The XVI Olympiad was held in Melbourne from 22 November to 8 December 1956 (the severity of Australia’s quarantine laws did not allow the entry of foreign horses so the equestrian events where held separately, in Stockholm, in June). New Zealand highlights of the games included Norman Read (the “Pommie Kiwi’s) win in the 50k walk and New Zealand’s first yachting gold won by Peter Mander and Jack Cropp in the 12 metre Sharpie class.
036:47 Vapour from a jet flying overhead forms the olympic symbol at the opening of the Melbourne Olympic Games; countries marching onto the stadium. Various events take place.
045:58 New Zealand athlete, Norman Read, takes part and wins the walking race; athletes standing on the dais for medal ceremony; various other track events.
053:40 Last picture frame.
Born in Portsmouth, Hampshire Norman Read (1931-1994) came to New Zealand in 1953. After missing selection for the British team to the 1956 Olympics, Read looked to New Zealand. The “Pommie Kiwi”, as he became known, walked his way to fame and won New Zealand’s third gold medal (behind Jack Lovelock, 1936 and Yvette Williams, 1952). Read led the walkers out of the MCG, then dropped back, he regained the lead at 42km and maintained it to the end, winning by over 2 minutes. Ten years later, in 1966, Read won bronze at the Commonwealth Games. Norman Read was awarded the Sportsman of the Year trophy in 1956 and was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.