1928 Summer Olympics

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The 1928 Summer Olympics, 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 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.[1]



  • For the first time, the Olympic Flame was lit during the Olympics. 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 authorised him to deputise for her. This was the first time a head of state had not personally officiated at an Olympic opening ceremony. She refused to return early from her holiday in Norway to open the Games herself, because she was furious at the organizing committee for not consulting with her about the opening date.
  • Athletics events were held on a 400 meter track and would become the standard for athletics tracks.
  • These games were the first to feature a standard schedule of 16 days, which is still followed. Previously, competition was 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.
  • 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.
  • Helena 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 Poland as part of the Holocaust.

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