After the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, there was interest in the Netherlands in organizing the World Cup for wheelchair basketball. The 2002 edition was in Japan, and therefore Europe had a great opportunity. It turned out to be the right idea.
Frank Bertling became tournament director. “From the beginning, the idea was to nominate Amsterdam. That city has a very long cooperation with the association and Sportalen Zuid is also unique as a location with two halls and good logistics.” Apollohal has been designated as a training site.
The 2006 event was also meant to be a farewell to a generation of the best wheelchair basketball players at the end of their careers. Another great tournament for the local crowd, which was packed with thousands in the stands – despite the competition from the World Cup and the Round of France. Even Mayor Cohen came several times.
The Dutch men’s team semi-final match against the United States was in a crowded hall. The black orange
He lost, but the atmosphere made a great impression on Americans who were not accustomed to such crowds. “Years later, the participants were still talking about it,” Bertilling said. The United States, in turn, would lose in the final against Canada.
During the event, there was another campaign in schools. Bertilling: “At first the students didn’t want to use the wheelchair. Then they didn’t want to get out of it. It was very special that these guys found out it was a very cool sport, fierce and physical.”
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