Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming and Diving Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: December 3, 1956
Date Finished: December 5, 1956
The butterfly stroke had dÃ©buted 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.
The withdrawal of the Dutch team robbed the games of two of the outstanding swimmers in the event. Mary Kok was a previous world record holder whilst the most recent of [Atie Voorbij]âs five records was set just 10 days before the Games began â a week after the announcement of the Dutch boycott in protest against the Soviet invasion of Hungary
Without the Dutch challenge the race became a procession for the Americans. [Shelley Mann] proved unbeatable and was followed home by teammates [Nancy Ramey] and [Mary Sears] for a US clean sweep. After a wait of 32 years between medal sweeps in womenâs swimming events, this was the 2nd in 4 days.