'Blood in the water' - Hungary's sporting battle against Soviet oppression

Story highlights

  • Hungary's water polo match with Soviet Union played against backdrop of revolution
  • Hungary beat Soviets 4-0 in semifinal at Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and went on to take gold
  • Failed revolution claimed 2,000 lives and created hundreds of thousands of refugees
  • Hungary is most successful water polo team at Olympics, winning nine gold medals

(CNN)"Try to imagine the situation," says Dezso Gyarmati, captain of Hungary's 1956 Olympic water polo team.

"A superpower destroys your country with weapons and tanks -- a country that has never asked for that power to be there. And after that revolution is crushed you have to face the representatives of that superpower."
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 became the backdrop to one of the most famous contests in Olympic history, where blood spilled in the sporting arena came to symbolize the bloody struggle of a nation against a brutal oppressor, the former Soviet Union.