The use of mega sporting events to achieve social goals for socially excluded groups is heavily contested. Comparative evidence regarding the effects of the Olympic Games for these groups is scarce, and there is an even greater dearth of studies focusing on non-infrastructural programmes (such as sport participation initiatives, volunteering opportunities, training and employment schemes). This study identifies planning principles that allow for the development of such non-infrastructural benefits for socially excluded groups in host cities, and reviews their application in recent Olympic Games.
This study examines data from 7 Olympic cities (Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin and Beijing). It shows that the Olympic Games generally bring few benefits for socially excluded groups, although these benefits are often important justifications in the bidding stage. The study highlights the growing importance placed by the International Olympic Committee on environmental sustainability, and proposes a similar emphasis on social sustainability.
Minnaert, L. (2012). An Olympic legacy for all? The non-infrastructural outcomes of the Olympic Games for socially excluded groups (Atlanta 1996–Beijing 2008). Tourism Management, 33(2), 361-370. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2011.04.005