Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Fernando Montes de Oca Fencing Hall, Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, Ciudad de México; Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de México; Military Camp Nr. 1, Ciudad de México; Vicente Suárez Shooting Range, Military Camp Nr. 1, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 13, 1968
Date Finished: October 17, 1968
Format: Scoring by point tables. Team scores totalled from adjusted individual scores. Scores adjusted in the fencing competition. Three-man scores with all scores counting.
Hungary had won the last four World Championships and was expected to win, with only the Soviet Union considered a real challenger. The only problem would occur if they had bad luck in the horse draw. But actually they did quite well in the steeplechase, placing fifth of 15 teams in the riding. The Soviets won the riding, but Hungary won the fencing easily to move into a big lead. Hungary also won the shooting phase, which pretty much settled the gold medal. The USSR won the swimming and placed second in cross-country running but could not catch the Hungarians. The two teams were so dominant, however, that France, in third place, trailed the Soviet Union by almost 1,000 points.
However, it was actually closer than that. Sweden originally finished third, only 60 points behind the Soviet Union. But one of their athletes, [Hans-Gunnar Liljenvall], failed a doping test for alcohol, and became the first Olympic athlete to be disqualified for the use of drugs. Liljenvall declared that he had only had two beers. Olympic historian Volker Kluge has noted that his blood alcohol level was 0.4.