Tales of the Olympic city: memory, narrative and the built environment

Gold, Margaret and Gold, John Robert (2019) Tales of the Olympic city: memory, narrative and the built environment. ZARCH: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Architecture and Urbanism, 13. pp. 12-33. ISSN 2341-0531


The Olympics have a greater, more profound and more pervasive impact on the urban fabric of their host cities than any other sporting or cultural event. This paper is concerned with issues of memory and remembering in Olympic host cities. After a contextual introduction, it employs a case study of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP), the main event space for the London 2012 Summer Games, to supply insight into how to read the urban traces of Olympic memory. Three key themes are identified when interpreting the memories associated with the Park and its built structures, namely: treatment of the area’s displaced past, memorializing the Games, and with memory legacy. The ensuing discussion section then adopts a historiographic slant, stressing the importance of narrative and offering wider conclusions about Olympic memory and the city.

The Olympics and memory JRG MMG (1).pdf - Accepted Version

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