1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands

The 1928 Summer Olympics was celebrated in 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam had bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but had to give way to war-victim Antwerp, Belgium, and Pierre de Coubertin’s Paris, respectively. The only other candidate city for the 1928 Games was Los Angeles, which would host the Olympics four years later.

The United States Olympic Committee measured the costs and revenue of the 1928 Games in preparation for the 1932 Summer Olympics. The committee reported a total cost of US$1.183 million with receipts of US$1.165 million for a loss of US$18,000 – much less than that of the previous Games

Highlights of the Amsterdam Olympics

ñFor the first time, the Olympic Flame was lit during the Olympics. The torch relay, however, would not occur until the 1936 Summer Olympics.

ñFor the first time, the parade of nations started with Greece, which holds the origins of the Olympics, and ended with the host country, a tradition which continues today.

ñThe Games were officially opened by Prince Hendrik, consort of Queen Wilhelmina, who had authorized him to deputise for her. This was the second time a head of state had not personally officiated at an Olympic opening ceremony the first being at the games of 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, in the USA by David R. Fracis the mayor of the city at the time. but in opposition he had refused offers by heads of state to do this, whereas she refused as she was on holiday in Norway and did not want to disrupt that, because she was furious at the organizing committee for not consulting with her about the opening date.

ñAthletics events were held on a 400 meter track and would become the standard for athletics tracks.

ñThese games were the first to feature a standard schedule of 16 days, which is still followed. Previously, competition was stretched out over several months.

ñJohnny Weissmuller, who later appeared in several Tarzan movies, won two gold medals in swimming.

ñPaavo Nurmi of Finland won his ninth and final gold medal, in the 10,000 m race.

ñCanada’s Percy Williams surprised everyone by winning both the 100 m and 200 m sprint events.

ñSouth American football made a definite breakthrough, as Uruguay retained its title by defeating Argentina.

ñIndia took its first ever gold in the sport of field hockey, beginning a streak of six consecutive gold medals in the sport.

ñThe first appearance of the sponsor Coca-Cola at the Olympic Games.

ñThese games were the first to bear the name “Summer Olympic Games”.

ñGermany returned to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1912, after being banned from the 1920 and 1924 Games. The German team finished second in the 1928 medal count.

ñHelena Nordheim won the gold medal as a member of the Dutch gymnastics team. She was later killed in 1943 at the Sobibor extermination camp in German-Occupied Poland as part of the Holocaust

Frederik van Tuyll van Serooskerken first proposed Amsterdam as host city for the Summer Olympic Games in 1912, even before the Netherlands Olympic Committee was established. In 1916, the Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War I. In 1919, the Netherlands Olympic Committee abandoned the proposal of Amsterdam in favour of their support of the nomination of Antwerp as host city for the 1920 Summer Olympics.

In 1921, the city of Paris was selected for the 1924 Summer Olympics on the condition that the 1928 Summer Olympics would be organized in Amsterdam. This decision, supported by the Netherlands Olympic Committee, was announced by the International Olympic Committee on June 2, 1921. The decision was disputed by the Americans, but their request to allocate the 1928 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles was without success in 1922 and again in 1923. Los Angeles was eventually selected as host city for the 1932 Summer Olympics.