Olympic and Paralympic legacy
Chair: David Legg (CAN) - Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies, Mount Royal University, Alberta, Canada.
David is a faculty member teaching adapted physical activity and sport management. As a volunteer, David is the Past President for the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and past board member for the 2015 Pan Parapan American Games in Toronto. Currently, David serves on the International Paralympic Committee's Sport Science Committee. Academically, David was a Research Fellow at Northeastern University in Boston and is presently an instructor for the sport management program within the Erasmus Mundus Masters of Adapted Physical Activity at Leuven University in Belgium. He has also been a visiting instructor while on sabbatical at Dalhouise University in Halifax and Deakin University in Melbourne. David edited and wrote multiple chapters in the first book on Paralympic Legacies.
Legacy and impact of major Games remains one of the most important issues relating to multisport mega-events across the globe and it could be argued that the development of legacy is one of the most urgent imperatives in sport. In the book Paralympic Legacies the editors David Legg and Keith Gilbert, provide an overview of the discussion related to legacy and impact of major games that forms the foundation from which the presentation will be rooted.
According to Legg and Gilbert (2011) the notion of legacy emerged from Olympic Movement’s desire for recognition. Girginov and Hills (2008, p. 2091) referred to the IOC’s quest for legacy in the following manner: “.....the concept of ‘legacy’, which together with the concept of ‘sustainable sports development’, has become an essential part of the IOC and the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) vocabulary’. The idea of legacy became so important that the IOC amended it’s own Charter to include a particular reference to the creation of positive legacies from the Games.
This recognition of the importance of legacy started arguably in 2002 when the Olympic Studies Centre in Barcelona organised the International Symposium on Legacy of the Olympic Games, ‘1984-2000’, (Chappelet, 2008, p. 2). The attendees of this conference, however, may have left with more questions than answers. Gratton and Preuss (2008 p.1923) noted that the conference ‘attempted to define legacy, but the participants found that there are several meanings of the concept, and some of the contributions have highlighted the convenience of using other expressions and concepts that can mean different things in different languages and cultures’.
Legg and Gilbert (2011) recognized this confusion in assessing the Olympic Games legacy research that took place following the 2002 Symposium. In their attempts to better understand legacy from Paralympic Games they noted that it would likely mean ‘something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor’, (Macquarie Dictionary, 2006), ‘a birthright or heritage’, (Free Online Dictionary, 2010) ‘a form of bequeath’ or literally it means ‘that which is left behind’ (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2009). Legg and Gilbert (2011) for their purposes choose the latter ‘that which is left behind’ as the definitive open ended meaning in part because it was broad enough to cover most aspects of legacy as displayed in the academic narratives by authors such as Cashman (2003, p.32), Chappelet (2008, p. 3), Gratton and Preuss (2008, p. 1922), Girginov and Hills (2008, p.2092).
Using this understanding then it would seem that the hope, although not always the reality, for many major sporting events is to leave behind something positive that is worth the expense of hosting. Gratton and Preuss (2008, p. 2) list the positive characteristics of legacy as ranging from: ‘.....commonly recognised aspects (urban planning, sport infrastructure) to less recognised intangible legacies, such as urban revival, enhanced international reputation, increased tourism, improved public welfare, additional employment, more local business opportunities, better corporate relocation, chances for city marketing, renewed community spirit, better interregional cooperation, production of ideas, production of cultural values, popular memory, experience and additional knowhow’. Cashman, Kennett, de Morgas and Noria (2003) had a second process by which to assess the benefits of legacy arguing that it can be broken down into six categories: [a] economic [b] the built and physical environment [c] information and education [d] public life, politics and culture [e] sport and [f] symbols, memory and history. Other legacies that appear to be more recent have focused on environmental sustainability and community health. As alluded to earlier these legacies are typically viewed as intended and beneficial It is also important for us to recognize, however, that there are also positive unintended legacies and unintended negative impacts. Legacies and impacts of major Games such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games are thus diverse in their breadth, depth and level of understanding and impact.
In this presentation the speakers will review their own understandings of the impacts and legacies of major games by speaking to legacy from three different perspectives, historical, practical and philosophical. Our goal then is to further our understanding on this important subject with the ultimate result hopefully being of better understanding of how these impacts can be ensured.
The first presentation by Dr. Michael Krüger from the University of Muenster, Germany will provide the historical context for an understanding of legacy and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The second presentation by Dr. Misener from Western University in Canada will then address the impact and legacy of major games by focusing on the social impacts of sporting events and how sport and events are used as tools for increasing sport participation. In particular Dr. Misener will focus on research conducted at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada. . The third presentation will be from Dr. David Howe of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. Dr. Howe will speak to legacy and impact of Games from the perspective lexicology drawing upon Bourdieusian concepts, paying close attention to historical and ethical issues related to the meaning of impact and legacy of major Games. The session will be moderated by Dr. Legg, a Professor from Mount Royal University in Canada.
1.Michael Krüger (DEU) - Sports Pedagogy, Physical Education, History, University of Muenster, Germany.
Dr. Kruger previously studied the academic subjects of Pedagogy, Sport Science and History at Wuerzburg and Tuebingen Universities in German and Leicester in Great Britain. Dr. Kruger is a council member of ISHPES and has had numerous publications on Olympism, Olympic history, and Olympic education.
Title Presentation: Historical context for an understanding of impact and legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games
2.Laura Misener (CAN) - Sport Management, School of Kinesiology, Western University, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Misener’s research and professional interests concern sport as an instrument of social change. She seeks to critically examine numerous ways that sport has been purported to positively influence community development, social infrastructure, social inclusion, and healthy lifestyles of community members. In particular, her focus lies in the area of how sporting events, in particular disability sport events can be used to positively affect communities in terms of local development, sport development, and social inclusion/exclusion. Her overall goal is to develop both theoretical and practical means of enhancing the value and outcomes of sport for positive social change.
Title Presentation: Social impacts of sport events: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies
3.David Howe (GBR) - Social Anthropology of Sport, Loughborough University, United Kingdom.
David’s ethnographic research focuses on unpacking the embodied socio-cultural milieu surrounding inclusive physical activity and disability sport. His publications on the co-constitution of disability and medicine in sport mark him out as the leader in the socio-cultural investigation of disability sport. With reference to the culture of disability, ethics of Paralympism, health and disability and medical discourse surrounding the Paralympic Games, David is concerned with his research highlighting ways and means of making more empowering for marginalised populations. David teaching in the anthropology of sport has recently begun to focus on the importance of legacy and impact of mega events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Title Presentation: Historical and ethical issues related to the meaning of impact and legacy of major Games