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OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNEROLYMPIC REVIEW65THE LEGACY OF THE OLYMPICGAMES -A HOST COMMUNITYPERSPECTIVEStaging the Olympic Games is certainly a definingmoment that leaves a number of legacy outcomes for thehost city and country. The International OlympicCommittee (IOC) has underlined the importance of legacyplanning and management before and after hosting anedition of the Olympic Games and highlighted that hostcities should focus efforts on the preparation and deliveryof the legacies an Olympic Games will leave them. TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLELEGACIESScholars have been researching the legacyphenomenon of an Olympic Games in an effort tomeasure it more effectively. Legacy has been definedin terms of tangible or intangible "structures" thatremain after the event. Tangible structures includeinfrastructures related to such areas as transportation,sport, tourism and environmental protection, whethernewly constructed or merely improved for the event.Intangible structures focus on legacy outcomes ?LeftFamilies andformer volunteersgathering at the SydneyOlympic Park lastSeptember tocelebrate the 10thanniversary of theGames in 2000

66OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNERsuch as emotional and psychological impacts,knowledge development and social changes. A key question that emerges after an OlympicGames is how do legacy outcomes influence the hostcommunity's quality of life? This question is of interestbecause legacy outcomes can evolve over time interms of their importance for residents, a notion whichbecomes important for the post-Olympic Gameslegacy management period. This "evolution over time" has to be considered inthe legacy plans which, as noted in the final officialreports of the four most recent summer OlympicGames host cities - Atlanta, Sydney, Athens andBeijing - were progressively more complex andmultidimensional. The actual success of the event isanother element that is not explicitly viewed as alegacy outcome but should be integrated in the legacyplans. Success is often just taken for granted.However, its importance is demonstrated in the case ofthe last four summer Games where research showedthat event success can positively influence legacyoutcome perceptions among local residents. Theefforts of the organisers to deliver the Games are thuscritical and correlate highly with the legacy planningefforts of the organisation. To ensure event management and legacymanagement success it may be necessary to separatethe two tasks. This process was successfullyoperationalised in Vancouver for the 2010 OlympicWinter Games. The host city set up a separateorganisation, called "2010 Legacies now", to identifyand develop the legacies of the 2010 Games whilstthe Organising Committee was tasked with the actualdelivering of the Games. The 2010 Legacies had thefinancial and political freedom to apply legacy plansduring and after the end of the Games. LEGACY AND QUALITY OF LIFEPERCEPTION BY HOST CITYRESIDENTSAccording to a recent research study, the legacyoutcomes perceived by the host community of the fourmost recent summer host cities varied and includedelements ranging from infrastructure, economics,tourism, environment, knowledge development, sport,culture, emotional, social, health, to political aspects. For Atlanta, the overall top five ranked legacyoutcomes in terms of the importance to the quality oflife for the host city residents were: beautification ofcertain parts of the city, technological upgrades intelecommunications, the Centennial Olympic Park,pride from having hosted the Olympic Games and jobopportunities. For Sydney, the top five ranked itemswere: the promotion of the Australian culture to theworld, the ability to use the stadiums constructed forthe Games, the wider inclusion of people withdisabilities, accessible pathways for strollers andwheelchairs and pride from having hosted the Games.For Athens, the top ranked items were: the newAthens International airport, the expansion of city's themetro system, the expansion of the road network,more wheelchair-friendly buses and the suburbanrailway. For Beijing, the top ranked items were: newsubway lines, expansion of the road network, newoptions for public transport, the new terminal at BeijingInternational airport and the suburban railway. The top five important items noted by the residentsof Atlanta and Sydney refer to more intangiblecomponents compared to those of Athens and Beijingwhere the tangible legacies were deemed moreimportant for their quality of life. This pattern offindings can be observed across all the legacyoutcome categories and suggests that the recall of information focuses more on the abstract than theconcrete outcomes when they are evaluated in thedistant past than the recent past. Such observationdenotes that time influences the processing of legacyoutcomes by residents of host Olympic cities.The overall positive and negative outcomesinfluence the host community's perception of havingimproved their quality of life thanks to the OlympicGames. When residents from Atlanta, Sydney, Athensand Beijing were asked to evaluate the overallsatisfaction levels with their quality of life after hostingthe Games in their city, three of the four city residentsindicated they were fairly satisfied. The only exceptionwas Athens, Greece where the declining economic statein 2010 may have influenced their responses. Thisstands in comparison to Beijing residents who were themost positive. Atlanta, Sydney, and Beijing were alsofairly satisfied in response to another question relatingto the evaluation of their city as a place to live. Again,Athens respondents were somewhat dissatisfied andthose from Beijing the most optimistic. RETAINING A POSITIVE LEGACYPERCEPTION AFTER THE GAMESAccording to the research study mentioned above,intangible outcomes are most present in the mid andlong-term time frames. In order to retain the positivelegacy perceptions brought about by the hosting ofan Olympic Games, legacy management programsshould focus on maintaining the emotionalconnection to the event and cultivate further thepride felt from hosting the Games. This practice can work in parallel with themanagement of the Olympic Games infrastructureand can be called the additive effect of legacymanagement, which builds on the most visibleaspect of legacy, the infrastructure. If the Gamestook place in the recent past, the infrastructure andthe post-Olympic Games legacy programmes caninfluence local resident's behaviours and positivelegacy perceptions. If the Olympic Games took Right TheVancouverAthletes Villagewas convertedpost-Games intosocial housingBelow rightThenew terminal atBeijing Airport,built for the 2008 Games