Examining the importance of Olympic Games legacy aspects among host city residents : a temporal approach

Kaplanidou, Kyriaki

(IOC Olympic Studies Centre Postgraduate Research Grant Programme 2010)

This document represents the final report to fulfill the obligations of the 2010 International Olympic Comittee (IOC) Post Graduate Olympic Studies Grant. The topic of this research project focuses on the legacy of the Olympic Games overtime. There has been extensive research conducted to understand the impacts of a mega-event on a host city. The purpose of this study, however, was to identify... Mehr

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    Summary
    This document represents the final report to fulfill the obligations of the 2010 International Olympic Comittee (IOC) Post Graduate Olympic Studies Grant. The topic of this research project focuses on the legacy of the Olympic Games overtime. There has been extensive research conducted to understand the impacts of a mega-event on a host city. The purpose of this study, however, was to identify the legacy outcomes for each of the four recent summer Olympic host cities and their importance for the residents' quality of life through qualitative and quantitative research methods. The first part of the research project involved a content analysis of the following documents : Official final host city reports, IOC Coordination Commissions reports, IOC factsheet on the legacies of the Games (January 2010) and Minutes from the annual IOC Sessions from 1993 to 2008. Profites of legacy outcomes were generated for each city and although the legacy categories were very similar across the four cities, there was variety of programs and initiatives for each city. For the next step of the study, questions were generated and used in online questionnaires. The questions included in these questionnaires aimed to understand the importance of the various legacy outcomes for the quality of life of local residents in each city. Data were collected through web surveys, mall intercepts and phone interviews from convenience samples of residents from the four Olympic cities namely Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing during July 2010. The results from the quantitative phase suggested that the tangible infrastructure aspects are important for the quality of life for all host cities but more important for recent host cities that the older ones. Residents of remote past Olympic Games host cities (e.g. Atlanta) indicated that emotional benefits and some of the infrastructure that resulted from the Olympic Games are important for their quality of life. The emotional connection therefore seems to be more important for their quality of life of host city residents as time passes from the hosting of the Olympic Games. For the most recent host cities the infrastructure created or accelerated by the Olympic Games hosting is of importance for the quality of life of residents. Leveraging the infrastrucutre can also stimulate the emotional connection felt during the Olympic Games. Sustaining such an emotional connection for the recent host cities can result in enhanced perceptions of legacy effects overtime and thus a longer lasting impact for residents' quality of life. Therefore, emotional stimulation needs to be considered as a long term strategy in legacy planning and management efforts.