Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 30, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
The butterfly stroke had débuted at the Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin as a new variant of breaststroke and by the Helsinki Games had proved to be so superior as to render the original technique worthless. The decision was then made to tighten the breaststroke rules and split butterfly into a new discipline.
American [Bill Yorzyk] proved himself to be a class above the rest and set world records in both heat and final. Yorzyk’s achievement is made more remarkable if you consider that he had not swum competitively until his first year of college. His coach at Springfield College, Red Silva, encouraged him to experiment with a “double-dolphin kick” which in only four years took him from novice to Olympic champion. Yorzyk retired prior to the 1960 Games but returned to the Olympic Games in 1964 as associate physician to the US delegation.
The silver medal went to 100 metre specialist [Takashi Ishimoto] of Japan with Hungary’s [György Tumpek] a very close third.