1928 Summer Olympics

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Games of the IX Olympiad
1928 Olympics poster.jpg
Logo of the 1928 Summer Olympics
Host city Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nations participating 46
Athletes participating 2,883 (2,606 men, 277 women)
Events 109 in 14 sports
Opening ceremony July 28
Closing ceremony August 12
Officially opened by Prince Hendrik
Athlete's Oath Harry Dénis
Olympic Torch None
Stadium Olympisch Stadion
The Olympisch Stadion in 1928
Prince Hendrik watching the football-match Netherlands–Uruguay (0–2)

The 1928 Summer Olympics (Dutch: Olympische Zomerspelen 1928), officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam had bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but had to give way to wartorn 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.[1]


  • For the first time, the Olympic Flame was lit during the Olympics.[2] The torch relay, however, would not occur 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 continues today.
  • The 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 at the games of 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, by David R. Francis the mayor of St. Louis. In opposition he had refused offers by heads of state to do this, whereas the Queen refused as she was on holiday in Norway and did not want to disrupt her trip. The Queen was furious at the organizing committee for not consulting with her about the opening date.
  • Athletics events were held on a 400-meter track, later becoming the standard for athletics tracks.
  • These games were the first to feature a standard schedule of 16 days, which is still followed. Previously, competition had been stretched out over several months.
  • Johnny Weissmuller, who later appeared in several Tarzan movies, won two gold medals in swimming.
  • Paavo Nurmi of Finland won his ninth and final gold medal in the 10,000 m race.
  • Canada's Percy Williams surprised everyone 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 in the sport of 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.
  • The then Crown Prince Olav, later King of Norway, was amongst the participants. He won a gold medal in sailing.
  • The first appearance of the sponsor Coca-Cola at the Olympic Games.
  • These games were the first to bear the name "Summer 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.

Host city selection

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 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 2 June 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.[3] Los Angeles was eventually selected as host city for the 1932 Summer Olympics.[4]


Eight Dutch stamps from 1928, showing different sports of the 1928 Summer Olympics

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

Women's athletics and gymnastics debuted at these Olympics, in spite of criticism. Halina Konopacka of Poland became the first female Olympic track and field champion. Reports that 800 meter run ended with several of the competitors being completely exhausted were widely (and erroneously) circulated, leading to running events for women longer than 200 meters being excluded from the Olympics until the 1960s.

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

Demonstration sports

These Games also included art competitions, which the IOC no longer considers as official medal events.[citation needed]


Participating nations

Number of athletes

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.[5]

Medal count

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

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 22 18 16 56
2  Germany 10 7 14 31
3  Finland 8 8 9 25
4  Sweden 7 6 12 25
5  Italy 7 5 7 19
6  Switzerland 7 4 4 15
7  France 6 10 5 21
8  Netherlands (host nation) 6 9 4 19
9  Hungary 4 5 0 9
10  Canada 4 4 7 15


The official poster.

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 (shown above). The IOC never succeeded in getting the copyright of the image. Therefore, out of practical considerations, the IOC has 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. This poster was made for a German book about the Amsterdam Olympics.[6]

Canon of Amsterdam

See also

Surviving competitors

As of 2015, there is at least one competitor of the 1928 Summer Olympics still living; Clara Marangoni, an Italian gymnast who competed in the games and won a silver medal despite still being only 12 years old. She is now 100 years old.[7]


  1. Zarnowski, C. Frank (Summer 1992). "A Look at Olympic Costs" (PDF). Citius, Altius, Fortius. 1 (1): 16–32. Retrieved 24 March 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Amsterdam 1928". Olympic.org. Retrieved 9 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Chicago Tribune Co. "America Bids for Games: Olympics of 1928 May be Held in This Country", New York Times. 6 April 1923. Page 15.
  4. 4.0 4.1 G. van Rossem (ed.) (1928). The Ninth Olympiad Amsterdam 1928 Official Report (PDF). Amsterdam: J. H. de Bussy. pp. 973–985. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2008. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Guttmann, Allen (1992). The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. p. 38. ISBN 0-252-01701-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Henk van Gelder: De Spiele in Amsterdam, NRC Handelsblad 30 juli 1996
  7. Clara Marangoni's profile at Sports Reference.com


External links

Preceded by
Summer Olympic Games

IX Olympiad (1928)
Succeeded by
Los Angeles