On June 15, 1955, at the 50th IOC Session in Paris, France, Rome beat out Lausanne, Detroit, Budapest (being the first city of the Eastern Bloc to bid for the Olympic Games), Brussels, Mexico City and Tokyo for the rights to host the Games.
Armin Hary won the 100 metres in an Olympic record time of 10.2 seconds.
Pakistan broke India's dominance in Olympic Men's Field Hockey by becoming the first team in history to beat India in Olympic Field Hockey since 1928 and winning its first ever Olympic gold medal in the process. India had already won 6 previous hockey golds in the Summer Olympics.
Jeff Farrell of the United States won two gold medals in swimming after undergoing an emergency appendectomy six days before the Olympic Trials.
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. Coincidentally, it was the first time (and only time until 2008) an athlete from Singapore won an Olympic medal, and also the only medal Singapore won as a British colony, when Tan Howe Liang won silver in the Weightlifting lightweight category.
American wrestlers Shelby Wilson, and Doug Blubaugh both won gold medals in their respective weight classes. Both men were raised in the town of Ponca City, Oklahoma and wrestled together through high school and college.
CBS paid $394,000 ($3140920 in today's dollars) for the 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 Televissa 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 Idelwild Airport in New York City, where mobile units fed the tapes to CBS, to Toronto for the CBC, and to Mexico City for Televisa. Despite this arrangement, many daytime events were broadcast in North America, especially on CBS and CBC, the same day they took place.