Framing the future: sustainability, legacy and the 2012 London Games

Gold, Margaret and Gold, John Robert (2015) Framing the future: sustainability, legacy and the 2012 London Games. In: The Routledge Handbook of Sport and Legacy: Meeting the Challenge of Major Sports Events,. Routledge, London, pp. 142-158. ISBN 9780415675819


When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adopted ‘environment’ as a third pillar of Olympism at its centenary meeting in Paris in 1994, it was partly reacting to an environmentalist lobby critical of the growing scale and impact of the Games. Since then, the Olympic movement has striven to be more proactive in championing sustainable events management and in promoting positive environmental legacies through its bidding procedures for the Summer and Winter Games, its technical manuals and the Impact Studies that monitor a city’s performance. Indeed, the environmental agenda has been subsumed into the broadly adopted discourse that stresses the beneficial legacy bequeathed to the host city in return for the huge expenditure required to host the world’s largest sporting event. Yet, some two decades later, Olympic hosts still struggle with the enormity of what a sustainable Games really means and with developing the mechanisms for delivering it.

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