Amsterdam 1928 Summer Olympic Games

The 9th Olympic Games were hosted by Amsterdam which became a place of happy memories for Slovenian athletes and especially for gymnast Leon Štukelj.


Time and Place: Amsterdam (the Netherlands); 17 May – 12 August 1928
Other candidates: Los Angeles
Participation: 46 countries, 2883 athletes
Number of sports: 14 sports, 109 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 9
Fire lit by: the fire was burning, the lighting ceremony was introduced in 1936 Prince Hendrick
Olyimpic oath: Henri Denis (footballer)


Trivia from the Amsterdam 1928 Summer Olympic Game

The Amsterdam Games were an excellent venue for the return of German athletes who again felt the Olympic pulse after sixteen years. Their great yearning for a return to the Olympic arena was evidenced by excellent performances and the only nation able to beat Germany was America. Americans again won by a massive margin, winning 56 medals, including 22 gold ones. The most successful individual was gymnast Georges Miez.


The Olympic event in the Netherlands expanded the protocol by lighting the Olympic fire on a tower in front of the new stadium. The stadium itself was a remarkable monument to the Games. Architect Jan Wils who designed it was awarded the gold medal at the Olympic arts competition.

The organizers received great praise for their efforts, but their attempt at monopolizing photography was met with a very negative response. The Dutch awarded the rights of photography to a single company and paid great care not to allow anybody else to enter the venues with a camera. This resulted in long lines in front of the facilities and the organizers were forced to adopt a more liberal system after receiving numerous complaints.


Women were allowed to compete in track and field for the first time in Olympic history. Their events included 100 m and 800 m runs, a 4x100 m relay, the high jump and the discus throw. The "right" to compete was used most efficiently by German runner Lina Radke who set a world record in the 800 m event.


Slovenians and the 1928 Summer Olympics


Spurred on by excellent results from Paris, the Slovenian Olympic contingent of 9 (of a total of 40 in the Yugoslavian team) went to Amsterdam with great expectations. Gymnasts indeed achieved great success in the Netherlands and returned home with gold, silver and bronze medals. The central role was again assumed by Leon Štukelj who won his third gold at his second Olympics. This time, he proved unbeatable in the rings after a hard battle with Vacha. The latter scored a mere 0.25 of a point less and was forced to concede gold to the Slovenian champion, who then went on to help the Slovenian gymnastics team, consisting of  Primožič, Malej, Antosiewicz, Gregorka, Porenta Derganc and Štukelj, to win the bronze. Štukelj then completed his Amsterdam trilogy with a bronze in the all-round competition. His success was supplemented with the excellent results of Jože Primožič and Stane Derganc with the former winning silver in the parallel bars and the latter a bronze in the vault. Primožič also achieved fourth in the vault, a notable fifth place in the all-round and a sixth in the high bar.