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The London 2012 Games mark 100 years since the first official commitment to presenting cultural and artistic activity alongside sport as a core dimension of the Olympic hosting process. This centenary provides a moment to reflect on what culture and the arts have brought to the Olympic Games. From avant-garde film-making to graphic design innovations, new approaches to public art and innovative ways of engaging with open spaces, past Olympic cultural programmes have made their mark within the practices of artistic communities. However, little is known of these positive experiences and their direct beneficiaries have tended to be a select few. This is because, for most of the 20th century, the Olympic cultural programme was viewed as an opportunity to showcase excellence using a narrow conception of the 'arts'. As the Games have evolved into a global media event attracting massive audiences worldwide, such a premise has become less relevant to the average Olympic audience. This article discusses the distinct advances made in the context of London 2012, in order to make its four-year Cultural Olympiad the most accessible, youth-oriented, innovative and outreaching Olympic cultural programme to date.London placed a strong emphasis on its cultural and creative narrative from the bid stage, building on its reputation as a creative city and a world-leading centre for the cultural and creative industries. Its bid for the 2012 Games placed particular emphasis on using the Cultural Olympiad to reach out to the whole of the UK. Presenting a national Olympic cultural programme is not a new ambition, although most editions of the Games have struggled to make their programme nationally relevant and appreciated by cultural experts as well as the public. This is due to a lack of media appeal, conflicting sponsorship and branding regulations, and the difficulty of balancing the sports and arts agenda priorities of key stakeholders. In order to face these challenges, London established a parallel delivery and promotional structure for culture: from the creation of 13 creative programmer posts based in every UK region, to the establishment of an alternative 'mark' for non-commercial Games-related cultural activity: 'Inspired by 2012'. These innovations are at the heart of what is distinct about London's Cultural Olympiad and serve as an example for future Games.A UK-WIDE CULTURAL DELIVERY STRUCTUREFollowing a tradition started with the Barcelona 1992 Games, London has presented its Cultural Olympiad over four years. The London 2012 Creative Programmers were appointed in 2008 and have been in positions all over the ? Left The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest and most diverse cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic MovementSTRIKING A CHORDLONDON 2012 HAS CREATED A NEW MODEL FOR NATIONWIDE OLYMPIC CULTURAL LEGACY. HERE, DR BEATRIZ GARC√ćA INVESTIGATES WHAT HAS MADE THE LONDON 2012 CULTURAL OLYMPIAD AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOWOLYMPIC REVIEW 63OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNER