Special Report

The Locations of the Last 31 Summer Olympic Games

Source: FPG / Archive Photos via Getty Images

1956 Summer Olympics: Melbourne, Australia

When Melbourne, Australia won its bid for the 1956 Summer Olympics, it marked the first time a country outside of Europe or North America hosted the Games. The Soviet Union won the most gold, silver, and bronze medals, taking home 98 in total. The U.S. finished second with 74. This 16th Olympiad was also the first one to feature a closing ceremony, with all competitors marching in as a group to symbolize how athletes from around the world had come together during the Games.

Source: Central Press / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

1960 Summer Olympics: Rome, Italy

The 1960 Rome Olympics were the biggest in history, with 5,350 competitors from 83 countries. Notable names like Cassius Clay, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West competed for the U.S., but it was again the Soviet Union that came away with the most medals — 103 to the U.S.’s 71. Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia became the first Black African to win an Olympic gold medal when he pulled away from Morocco’s Rhadi Ben Abdesselam to win the marathon.

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

1964 Summer Olympics: Tokyo, Japan

The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were the first held in Asia. Though the Soviet Union won more total medals, 96, than the U.S. did, 90, American competitors had the edge in gold medals 36-30. Four of those golds went to Yale’s Don Schollander, who became the first swimmer to take home four golds in one Games — finishing first in the 100 and 400 meter freestyle, as well as the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays.

Source: By Sergio Rodriguez - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17439660 / Wikimedia Commons

1968 Summer Olympics: Mexico City, Mexico

In the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, the U.S. returned to the top of the international sporting world, with its representatives taking home 107 medals, beating out the Soviet Union with 91.

The enduring image from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics is Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in a Black power salute as they stood on the podium following their race. The paid agreed to use their platform to advocate for equality. The symbol came just months after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and led to a cascade of backlash not only for them, but for Australia’s Peter Norman who was on the podium with them.

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

1972 Summer Olympics: Munich, Germany

The 1972 Munich Games are perhaps best remembered for the terrorist attack that took place. Palestinian terrorists broke into the Israeli athlete’s compound in the Olympic Village, killing two and taking nine hostages, demanding that Israel release 230 Arab prisoners. After a shootout with authorities in the Munich airport, all nine Israeli hostages were killed, along with five kidnappers and one policeman. The Games were postponed for 24 hours.

As for the Games themselves, the Soviet Union won 99 medals, 50 of which were gold. The U.S. won 94 medals. East Germany took home the third-most medals, with 66, followed by West Germany with 40.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.