Canoeing’s 10000 metre distance events appeared for the last time at the 1956 Summer Olympics. American Frank Havens, the defending Olympic champion and 1948 runner-up, returned to the Games in 1956 in a bid to defend his title in the C-1 10000. At the very least, he would have to expect a challenge from Czechoslovakia’s Jiří Vokněr, the reigning World Champion, while Hungary’s János Parti would also be a threat, as he was the current World Champion and Olympic runner-up in the C-1 1000, but elected to compete in this event instead. The surprise winner of the tournament, however, was Leon Rotman of Romania, who took an early lead and never relinquished. He would surprise spectators even further in the C-1 1000 the next day, when he took gold in that event as well. This left Parti and Gennady Bukharin of the Soviet Union to battle for the remaining podium spots, with the former pulling ahead in the concluding stretch to claim silver, while the latter took bronze. Bukharin would repeat his performance the following day by finishing in third in the C-1 1000.