Beijing helps Amsterdam in Olympic bid

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Beijing has offered a helping hand in Amsterdam's possible bid for the 2028 Olympics.

Beijing deputy mayor Liu Jingmin visited the London Olympic Games last weekend and flew to Amsterdam on Monday for a three-day visit, during which Liu shared Olympic experiences with his Dutch counterparts.

The Netherlands has examined a possible bid for the 2028 Olympic Games, which was one of the main topics of the visit. Liu had been vice chairman of the organizing committee of the Beijing Olympics.

"We have asked Beijing to assist us in preparing a possible bid for the Olympics in 2028 and that request was granted," Eric van der Burg, the Amsterdam municipal executive councilor of sport, told Xinhua.

"We will get access to all documents, not just regarding the Olympic events, but documents related to preparing their bid. We can use all the info."

A decision about the possible candidacy of the Netherlands for the 2028 Games will be taken in 2016. The bidding process starts in 2019 and ends in 2021 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will take a decision.

Although a decision will only be made in a few years, preparatory studies are already underway in the Netherlands. The focus now is not so much on getting the Games, but more on getting people to sport and creating a broad public support.

"The Chinese found it a very good development that we have already started with preparations," said Van der Burg. "One cannot start early enough for such a big event."

Liu's visit included the Dutch national hockey stadium, the rowing center and the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, where the 1928 Olympics were held. "They witnessed how we deal with the Olympic heritage, with the Olympic Stadium of 1928, a stadium which is still alive with several activities," said Van der Burg.

"The 1928 Games were innovative with women participating in athletics and gymnastics for the first time and the introduction of the Olympic flame," said Van der Burg. "We want to make the possible 2028 Olympics innovative again."

Although the plans are not yet concrete, Amsterdam will continue to look for new experiences. London is the next step for mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who will visit the current host city in October.

"Although we cannot compare the magnitude of Beijing and London to Amsterdam, we can learn from what went wrong, and what went well," said Van der Burg. Enditem

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