1928 Summer Olympics

The 1928 Summer Olympics (Dutch: Olympische Zomerspelen 1928), officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 28 July to 12 August 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city of Amsterdam had previously bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but was obliged to give way to war-torn Antwerp in Belgium for the 1920 Games and Pierre de Coubertin's Paris for the 1924 Games. The United States won the most gold and overall medals.

Poster for the 1928 Summer Olympics
Host cityAmsterdam, Netherlands
Athletes2,883 (2,606 men, 277 women)
Events109 in 14 sports (20 disciplines)
Opening28 July
Closing12 August
Opened by
StadiumOlympisch Stadion
Paris 1924 Los Angeles 1932
St Moritz 1928 Lake Placid 1932

The only other candidate city for the 1928 Olympics was Los Angeles, which would eventually be selected to host the Olympics four years later. In preparation for the 1932 Summer Olympics, the United States Olympic Committee reviewed the costs and revenue of the 1928 Games. The committee reported a total cost of US$1.183 million with receipts of US$1.165 million, giving a negligible loss of US$18,000, which was a considerable improvement over the 1924 Games.[2]

Host city selection

Dutch nobleman 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.

The Olympic Games were cancelled in 1916 due to World War I. In 1919, the Netherlands Olympic Committee abandoned the proposal of Amsterdam in favor of their support for the nomination of Antwerp as host city for the 1920 Summer Olympics. In 1921, 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 (IOC) on 2 June 1921.

The IOC's 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.[3] Los Angeles was eventually selected as host city for the 1932 Summer Olympics.[4]:p.915


  • These were the first Olympics to be organized under the IOC presidency of Henri de Baillet-Latour.
  • The Olympic Flame was lit for the first time for the duration of the Olympics, a tradition that continues to this day.[5][6] The torch relay, however, would not take place until the 1936 Summer Olympics.
  • For 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 has also continued ever since.
  • The Games were officially opened by Prince Hendrik, consort of Queen Wilhelmina, who had authorized her husband to deputise for her.[4]:p.294 The Queen was unable to attend the opening ceremony as she was on holiday in Norway and did not want to disrupt her trip.[6] This was the second time a head of state had not personally officiated at an Olympic opening ceremony (the first occasion being the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, which were officially opened by David R. Francis the Mayor of St. Louis). The Queen had initially refused to make an appearance at either the opening or closing ceremony; it is thought that she objected to the Netherlands hosting the 1928 Games as she considered the Olympics to be a demonstration of paganism.[7] However, she returned from Norway before the conclusion of the Games, to be present at the closing ceremony,[6] and she presented the first prizes at the prize distribution which was held immediately beforehand.[4]:p.913
  • Athletics events were held on a 400-meter track, later becoming the standard for athletics tracks.
  • These Games were the first to feature a fixed schedule of sixteen days, which is still followed. In previous Olympics, competition had been stretched out over several months.
  • Johnny Weissmuller, who later appeared in several Tarzan movies, won two gold medals in swimming: an individual gold in the men's 100 m freestyle, and a team gold in the men's 4 x 200 m freestyle relay.
  • Paavo Nurmi of Finland won his ninth, and final, gold medal in the 10,000 m race.
  • Canadian athlete Percy Williams exceeded expectations by winning both the 100 m and 200 m sprint events.
  • South American football made a definite breakthrough, as Uruguay retained its title by defeating Argentina.
  • India took its first ever gold medal in field hockey, beginning a streak of six consecutive gold medals in the sport.
  • Mikio Oda of Japan won the triple jump event with a result of 15.21 meters (49 ft 11 in), becoming the first gold medalist from an Asian country.
  • Algerian-born marathon runner Boughera El Ouafi won a gold medal for France in the men's marathon.
  • Among the participants was Crown Prince Olav, who would later become King of Norway; he won a gold medal in the 6 meter sailing event.
  • Pat O'Callaghan won the first ever medal for a newly independent Ireland, taking gold in the hammer throw.
  • The sponsor Coca-Cola made its first appearance at the Olympic Games.
  • These Games were the first to bear the name "Summer Olympic Games", to distinguish them from the Winter Olympic Games.
  • Germany 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.
  • Many cars were expected for the Games, but Amsterdam had no more than 2,000 single car parking spaces. Consequently, a number of new parking sites were provided and a special parking symbol was launched to show foreign visitors where they could park. The white P on a blue background was to become the international traffic sign for parking, which is still used today.[8][9]


During the 1928 Summer Olympics, there were 14 sports, 20 disciplines and 109 events in the tournament. In parentheses is the number of events per discipline.[4]:pp.973–985

Women's athletics and team gymnastics debuted at these Olympics,[10] in spite of criticism. Five women's athletics events were added: 100 meters, 800 meters, high jump, discus, and 400 meter hurdles. In protest of the limited number of events, British women athletes, boycotted the Games[11]. Halina Konopacka of Poland became the first female Olympic track and field champion. Reports that the 800 meter run ended with several of the competitors being completely exhausted were widely (and erroneously) circulated. As a result, the IOC decided that women were too frail for long distance running, and women's Olympic running events were limited to 200 meters until the 1960s.[12]

Tennis disappeared from the program, only to reappear in 1968 as a demonstration sport.

Demonstration sports

These Games also included art competitions in five categories: architecture, painting, sculpture, literature, and poetry. However, the IOC no longer considers these to be official medal events, so the medals awarded are not included in today's Olympic medal counts.[13]


Fourteen sports venues were used for the 1928 Summer Olympics. The Swim Stadium was demolished in 1929 with it being a temporary venue.[4]:p.193 The Het Kasteel football stadium was renovated in 1998–99. The Monnikenhuize stadium was demolished in 1950. The Schermzaal sports hall has also been demolished. The Olympic Stadium was renovated between 1996 and 2000, and is still in use. The Old Stadion was demolished in 1929 and replaced with housing in the Amsterdam area.

Venue Sports Capacity Ref.
AmersfoortModern pentathlon (riding)Not listed [4]:p.277
AmsterdamCycling (road)Not listed [4]:p.264
Buiten YSailing2,263 [4]:pp.271–4
HilversumEquestrian (non-jumping), Modern pentathlon (running)4,763 [4]:pp.167, 236, 694
KrachtsportgebouwBoxing, Weightlifting, Wrestling4,634 [4]:pp.200–1, 205
Monnikenhuize (Arnhem)Football7,500 [14]
Old StadionField hockey, Football29,787 [4]:pp.173–80
Olympic Sports Park Swim StadiumDiving, Modern pentathlon (swimming), Swimming, Water polo6,000 [4]:pp.205–9
Olympic StadiumAthletics, Cycling (track), Equestrian (jumping), Football, Gymnastics, Korfball33,025 [4]:pp.173–205
SchermzaalFencing, Modern pentathlon (fencing)559 [4]:pp.170, 202, 205
Sloterringvaart, SlotenRowing2,230 [4]:pp.172, 267–72
Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel (Rotterdam)Football11,026 [15][16]
Zeeburg Shooting GroundsModern pentathlon (shooting)10,455 [4]:p.277
ZuiderzeeSailing2,263 [4]:pp.271–4

Participating nations

A total of 46 nations were represented at the Amsterdam Games. Malta, Panama, and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) competed at the Olympic Games for the first time. Germany returned after having been banned in 1920 and 1924.[17]

Participating National Olympic Committees

Number of athletes by National Olympic Committees

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1928 Games.

1 United States22181656
2 Germany1071431
3 Finland88925
4 Sweden761225
5 Italy75719
6 Switzerland74415
7 France610521
8 Netherlands*69419
9 Hungary4509
10 Canada44715
Totals (10 nations)817678235


The official poster for the Games was designed by Jos Rovers, and 10,000 copies were made.

The poster displays a running man in a white shirt, with in the background the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic flag.

The IOC never succeeded in obtaining the copyright of the image. Therefore, out of practical considerations, the IOC used a different poster, with the German text Olympische Spiele, and an athlete partly covered in the Dutch national flag, holding a peace leaf in his hand. The poster was made for a German book about the Amsterdam Olympics.[18]

Last surviving competitor

The last living competitor of the 1928 Summer Olympics was Clara Marangoni, a member of the silver-medal winning Italian gymnastic team who had been 12 years old during the Olympics.

She died 18 January 2018, at the age of 102. She was also the oldest living Olympic medalist at the time of her death.[19]

See also


  1. "Factsheet - Opening Ceremony of the Games f the Olympiad" (PDF) (Press release). International Olympic Committee. 13 September 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. Zarnowski, C. Frank (Summer 1992). "A Look at Olympic Costs" (PDF). Citius, Altius, Fortius. 1 (1): 16–32. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  3. "America Bids for Games: Olympics of 1928 May be Held in This Country" (NYT archive). The New York Times. 6 April 1923. p. 15.
  4. G. Van Rossem, ed. (1928). "The Ninth Olympiad Amsterdam 1928 Official Report, Netherlands Olympic Committee" (PDF). J. H. de Bussy. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 April 2008.
  5. "Amsterdam 1928". Olympic.org. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  6. Jess Rulz (25 July 2012). "Royalty and the Olympics: Host Nations". www.theroyalforums.com. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  7. "1928: Amsterdam, Netherlands". CBC Sports. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  8. "How Amsterdam 1928 changed the face of car parking forever". IOC. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  9. van de Vooren, Jurryt (12 June 2012). "Parkeerbord is speciaal bedacht voor de Olympische Spelen van 1928" [The parking sign was specially designed for the 1928 Olympics]. Sportgeschiedenis.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 20 December 2016.
  10. "Timeline of Women in Sports: Gymnastics". faculty.elmira.edu. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  11. Hargreaves, Jennifer (2007). O'Reilly, Jean; Cahn, Susan (eds.). Olympic Women. Women and Sports in the United States. Boston: Northeastern University Press. p. 8. ISBN 1555536719.
  12. Jules Boykoff (26 July 2016). "The forgotten history of female athletes who organized their own Olympics". www.bitchmedia.org. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  13. Joseph Stromberg (24 July 2012). "When the Olympics Gave Out Medals for Art". Smithsonian. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  14. "Olympic Football Tournament Amsterdam 1928, Match Report, Chile–Mexico 05 June 1928". FIFA. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010.
  15. "Olympic Football Tournament Amsterdam 1928, Match Report, Netherlands–Belgium 05 June 1928". FIFA. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010.
  16. "Olympic Football Tournament Amsterdam 1928, Match Report, Netherlands–Chile 08 June 1928". FIFA. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010.
  17. Guttmann, Allen (April 1992). The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. pp. 38. ISBN 0-252-01701-3.
  18. Henk van Gelder (30 July 1996). "De Spiele in Amsterdam" [The Amsterdam Games]. NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 17 June 2013.
  19. Turner, Amanda (23 January 2018). "Carla Marangoni, Oldest Olympic Medalist, Dies at 102". International Gymnast Magazine. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
Preceded by
Summer Olympic Games

IX Olympiad (1928)
Succeeded by
Los Angeles
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.