By Paul Osborne

Amsterdam's ambitions to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been put to sleep for the forseeable future ©Holland luchtfoto/AFP/Getty ImagesApril 13 - Amsterdam's ambitions to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been "put to sleep" but not forgotten as their early strides into a potential Olympic bid helped to unite the nation's major cities.

Henk Stokhof, director of the City of Amsterdam, claimed during the SportAccord International Convention in Belek early plans for a bid were cut short by the Dutch Government because of the fears over the cost of a bid. 

But, even this attempted bid left behind a lasting legacy and a closer bond between Amsterdam and its neighbouring cities, of whom Rotterdam were a potential partner city, he claimed.

"We had an attempt to bid for 2028 because it's 100 years after 1928 when the Games were in Amsterdam," Stokhof told insidethegames.

"We worked together with Amsterdam and Rotterdam to bring it up and investigate the possibilities and it brought us a lot, only the attempt.

"At a certain moment our national Government said, 'What's going on, we have a crisis here' and they just estimated the attempt as a cost thing and so they said 'let's put it to sleep'.

"But all the things that happened about infrastructure, thinking about working together, track record for events, we were busy with them.

"And right now we even have a big legacy of the attempt alone.

"And so we work together with Rotterdam, and before the Olympic ambition we had never worked together.

"So it's a good thing, and I think we will wake up that ambition in the years to come."

The 1928 Olympic bid was set out in order to coincide with the 100 year mark of the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam ©Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty ImagesThe 1928 Olympic bid was set out in order to coincide with the 100-year mark of the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam ©Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

Despite the early setback in terms of an Olympic bid, Erik Cornelissen, director of Topsort in Amsterdam, did not rule out the possibility of a bid being reviving, claiming that with so long to go, it is hard to see what will happen.

"Officially it's off the table but I think if you see what is happening with all the big tournaments we have in all the cities, not just Amsterdam, if you see the legacy we already have, if you see the reaction of the people in the sports by all events, I wouldn't be surprised if in the next two or three years it maybe pops up again, it's still a long time to go," Cornelissen told insidethegames.

Stokhof claimed the people of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands as a whole, were extremely supportive of their efforts to bring an Olympic Games to the city, with hundreds turning to him via social media to express their enthusiasm.

"So the idea was; first we have to start thinking about it, I think the bid is only due in 2019-2020," he said.

"But everyone wanted to be part of it.

"When I became the Olympic ambition director, I had 600 friends in two weeks [on LinkedIn]

"Everyone wants to be part of it.

He added: "It's still there [the Olympic bid] but it's put to sleep."

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