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The Netherlands as GameChanger



The Amsterdam based architecture office XML was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to research the (future) candidacy of a series of international cities to host the Olympic Games in 2020 and beyond. Through a study of the Olympic projects of Doha (2020), Madrid (2020), Tokyo (2020), Istanbul (2020), South Africa (2024) and the Netherlands (2028), the research aims to clarify the playing field for a potential Dutch bid for the Olympic Summer Games of 2028, as well as the more general urban dynamics that are related to hosting the Olympic Games. The research was presented at the International Architecture Biennial in Rotterdam. This video is part of that exhibition, presenting the executive summary of the project.

The spatial concepts of the Olympic bids researched in the project, including the Dutch bid, are all based on the existing paradigm of the Olympic Games as a mega-event. XML argues, however, that the Olympic Games are not a neutral, autonomous and immutable event. Instead, Olympic History contains a series of cycles, each lasting about 20 years. Each of these periods has its own paradigm for the meaning of the Games and how it impacts the city. The research shows that the Olympic Games of 2028 will almost certainly mark the beginning of a new cycle. Therefore, XML argues, the crucial issue for a potential Dutch Olympic bid is not the meaning of today’s Olympic Games, but rather the paradigm that will define the Olympic Games in 2028 and the way in which this paradigm will be manifested if the Olympics were to be held in the Netherlands.

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