Athletes, Businesses In The Netherlands Mull 2032 Olympic Games Bid

Athletes and businesses across the Netherlands are quietly discussing the possibility of bidding for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games according to local reports.

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“We know that there are initiatives”, Netherlands Olympic Committee (NSF) Anneke van Zanen-Nieberg said, according to Netherlands NU news agency.

“These initiatives will always be there and we like that, because the dream of organizing the Games in the Netherlands is always alive with us,” she added.

Amsterdam had originally considered a bid for the 2028 Games to commemorate the centennial of the first Games hosted in the city in 1928, but in 2012 the government passed on the project, citing financial concerns.  Los Angeles was later awarded those Games without contest as part of a tripartite deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Paris 2024 bid.

IOC reforms passed last year have made the Games more affordable and sustainable, and have prompted governments to take a second look at previously rejected plans.

Politicians in the Netherlands remain cautiously open to the idea.

Dutch sport minister Bruno Bruins said he would be behind a candidacy but any public funding for the project would rely on strong support from the public.  He also believes it is too early, with the Games still 12 years away, according to Algemeen Dagblad.

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Previously the IOC launched bid campaigns about nine years ahead of the Games’ opening ceremony with an intent to elect within two years.  Now the IOC has launched a Future Games Commission that conducts an ongoing dialogue with interested bids and without any deadlines.  Final candidates can be named anytime, and much further in advance.

An Australian bid representing Queensland State has already entered into serious talks with the IOC for 2032 and expects to submit a final proposal this year with an intent to become elected as early as next year.

Other interested bidders from Indonesia, China, India and Spain, and a possible North and South Korea joint project, could also quickly enter the race at any time.

Triple Olympic Champion swimmer Olympian Pieter van den Hoogenband said he was aware of “influential people” involved in discussions around a possible 2032 bid, but admits he is not directly involved.  Set to serve as Chef de Mission for the Dutch team at Tokyo 2020, van den Hoogenband welcomes the initiative.

“I do believe in it,” he said.

“We could absolutely do that as the Netherlands, but the timing is important.

“Can you properly explain the impact and value of an Olympic Games? If there is no trust from society, you should not do it.”

Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands (Photo: Johan-Cruijff-ArenA)

Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands (Photo: Johan-Cruijff-ArenA)

Among politicians, Member of Parliament Rudmer Heerema is solidly behind the concept.

“I think it’s really cool that more and more major sporting events are coming to the Netherlands,” she said.

“With the Formula 1 in Zandvoort and the European Football Championship, we show that we are also very good at that.

“Why shouldn’t we also try to win the biggest event?”

MP Michiel van Nispen stressed caution, however, pointing to the potential high cost.

“If we have to choose, we place the priority in sports for all people,” van Nispen said.

“We want all children to learn to swim well and to get enough gym at school from a professional teacher.

“Then we talk further. “

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil