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1960 Summer Olympics
1960 Summer Olympics

The 1960 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVII Olympiad (Italian: Giochi della XVII Olimpiade), was an international multi-sport event that was held from August 25 to September 11, 1960, in Rome, Italy. The city of Rome had previously been awarded the administration of the 1908 Summer Olympics, but following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906, Rome had no choice but to decline and pass the honour to London.

Host city selection

On June 15, 1955, at the 50th IOC Session in Paris, France, Rome won the rights to host the 1960 Games, having beaten Brussels, Mexico City, Tokyo, Detroit, Budapest and finally Lausanne. Tokyo and Mexico City would subsequently host the proceeding 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics respectively.[2]

Toronto was initially interested in the bidding, but appears to have dropped out during the final phase of the bid process.[3] This was the first of five unsuccessful attempts by Toronto to secure the Summer Olympics from then until the 2008 games.


  • South Africa appeared in the Olympic arena for the last time under its apartheid regime. It would not be allowed to return until 1992, by when apartheid in sport was being abolished.
  • Singapore competed for the first time under its own flag, which was to become its national flag after independence, as the British had granted it self-government a year earlier. Tan Howe Liang won silver in the Weightlifting lightweight category, which was the first time (and the only time until 2008) that an athlete from Singapore won an Olympic medal.


  • CBS paid US$394,000 (equivalent to $3,336,812 in 2018) for the exclusive right to broadcast the Games in the United States. This was the first Summer Olympic games to be telecast in North America. In addition to CBS in the United States, the Olympics were telecast for the first time in Canada (on CBC Television) and in Mexico (through the networks of Telesistema Mexicano). Since television broadcast satellites were still two years into the future, CBS, CBC, and TSM shot and edited videotapes in Rome, fed the tapes to Paris where they were re-recorded onto other tapes which were then loaded onto jet planes to North America. Planes carrying the tapes landed at Idlewild Airport in New York City, where mobile units fed the tapes to CBS, to Toronto for the CBC, and to Mexico City for TSM. Despite this arrangement, many daytime events were broadcast in North America, especially on CBS and CBC, the same day they took place.[9]


1 New facilities constructed in preparation for the Olympic Games. 2 Existing facilities modified or refurbished in preparation for the Olympic Games.


A total of 83 nations participated at the Rome Games. Athletes from Morocco, San Marino, Sudan, and Tunisia competed at the Olympic Games for the first time. Athletes from Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago would represent the new (British) West Indies Federation, competing as "Antilles", but this nation would only exist for this single Olympiad. Athletes from Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia competed under the Rhodesia name while representing the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Athletes from East Germany and West Germany would compete as the United Team of Germany from 1956 to 1964. The number in parentheses indicates the number of participants that each country contributed.

  • Suriname also made its first Olympic appearance, but its lone athlete (Wim Esajas) withdrew from competition due to a scheduling error.[10]

The 1960 Summer Olympics featured 17 different sports encompassing 23 disciplines, and medals were awarded in 150 events. In the list below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1960 Games:[11]

See also

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