For the first time, a symbolic fire was lit during the Games. The fire was lit in a cauldron that was placed at the top of a tower in the stadium, which had been designed by Jan Wils, a celebrated Dutch architect.
At the Opening Ceremony, the team from Greece led the Parade of Nations, with the host Dutch team marching in last. Greece-first, hosts-last has been Olympic protocol ever since. The number of female competitors more than doubled, as women were finally allowed to compete in gymnastics and athletics, and Asian athletes won gold medals for the first time.
The team from India swept to victory in field hockey. Between 1928 and 1956, India’s men would win six straight gold medals in this event. Another winning streak also began in 1928, when Hungary earned the first of seven consecutive gold medals in team sabre fencing.
The actions of Australian rower Henry Pearce at Amsterdam have since become legend. He stopped midway through his quarter final to let a family of ducks pass, but still went on to win the race and eventually the gold medal.
See the list of teams and medals won by each.
Dutch win stirring gymnastics goldAmsterdam 1928 | Olympic Games