Amazing snap of the Olympic rings transported to the MCG in 1956

Amazing snap of the Olympic Rings being transported to the MCG in 1956 sparks nostalgia and some unanswered questions

  • Photo of Olympic rings from the 1956 Games in Melbourne appeared on Reddit
  • The rings pictured were apparently being transported to the MCG for installation
  • The photo made people ask what happened to Melbourne’s and Sydney’s rings? 
  • Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here

An extraordinary historic photo of the 1956 Olympic rings being transported on the back of a truck has sparked several debates – including the whereabouts of another historic set of rings.

With the Tokyo Olympics drawing to a close, Games nostalgia sent the historic photo of Melbourne’s rings viral on the Old Vintage Melbourne Instagram account, and on Reddit, where it was reposted.

The photo, taken by Life magazine’s photojournalist John Dominis, generated hundreds of comments, mostly about everything apart from the rings themselves.

A stunning colour photo of the 1956 Olympic rings on the back of a truck has sparked several debates – including the whereabouts of another historic set of Olympic rings

Melbourne’s Olympic rings were preserved and are currently displayed in the Melbourne Olympic Parks’ Sports Precinct on the footbridge connecting AAMI Park to the Eastern Plaza. But where are Sydney’s

People wondered where the photo was taken and marvelled at the vibrant two-tone paint jobs on the taxis and the sharply-dressed pedestrians, the movie poster art, and wondered what kinds of cars were in the photo. 

‘Fabulous image of such a different world,’ one woman wrote on Instagram, summing up many responses. 

Several commenters agreed the photo was snapped with the truck on Bourke Street, moving between Swanston and Russell streets.

The Commonwealth Bank is at left and to the right is Bourke Street’s old Lyceum Picture Theatre, with movie posters glued to the side of the building. 

The taxis were all Holdens and what appears to be a police car towing the truck is an FJ Holden. 

Plenty of social media users were amused that something as symbolically important as the official OIympic Games rings – always an iconic image from every Games – would be sitting loosely on a flat-bed truck.

The rings symbolise the union of athletes from our five continents. 

‘Every expense spared,’ said one Reddit user.

‘Davo’s got a truck, we’ll use that,’ said another. 

The massive Olympic Rings that adorned the Sydney Harbour Bridge were sold to a Newcastle electrician for $21,000 in 2015. He tried to sell them last year

Tokyo’s Olympic rings being transported to the main stadium on a barge before the Games began

‘I love how they’re just chucked on the back of an old truck. These days they’d be wrapped in 5 kinds of plastic,’ said an Instagram follower.

On Reddit poster wondered if the same set of rings is used for every Olympics and simply moved from one Games headquarters to another.

The answer to that question is no, each country makes its own set.

Several asked what became of the set of rings in the photo? 

The original rings were preserved and are currently displayed in the Melbourne Olympic Parks’ Sports Precinct on the footbridge connecting AAMI Park to the Eastern Plaza. 

That prompted a query that nobody seemed to have answer to: where are Sydney’s official Games rings that adorned the Sydney Olympic Stadium in 2000?

The massive 70 metre by 30 metre, 35-ton, set of rings that hung from the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Games were sold on eBay in 2015, by Goulburn businessman Bernard Maas.

Mr Maas worked at the factory that made the rings. 

He listed them for sale for $10,000 and strong interest drove the price up to over $21,000.

A Newcastle electrician Tony Stavropoulos bought them and attempted to re-sell the rings in 2020 for $100,000 – but there is no record that anyone matched his price.

Those rings are believed to have been stored at a property at Tin Can Bay, near Noosa by Mr Stavropoulos after they failed to sell.

But as for the smaller official rings that hung at Sydney Olympic Stadium (now Stadium Australia) in September 2000, their whereabouts remain a mystery. 

Sydney Olympic Park told Daily Mail Australia those rings were ‘temporary’ and it is not known if they were preserved.

The last known whereabouts of the official rings prominently displayed in Martin Place was a recycling yard in St Peters. 

Do you know where Sydney’s official Olympic rings are? Contact [email protected]

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