Sports legacy of London 2012 unlikely to be long-term: research

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

University of Kent study into legacy of 2004 Athens Olympics finds only temporary impact on sports participation in Greece and casts serious doubt on a long sporting legacy for the London 2012 games.

The London Olympics may fail to boost the number of people participating in sport in Britain, according to research. A sporting legacy with more people taking part in activities at grassroots level was at the heart of the London 2012 bid.

But we were told that we were going to have all those great benefits, in way of sports participation and in way of useful stadia, etc., that would be benefiting the local community, and so on, and that is why we needed to have the Olympic in London.

None of this, however, is being borne out in reality and talk is, for instance, of the total destruction of the main stadium afterwards to turn it into a soccer stadium for one of London's premier clubs. Sorry, but how is that benefiting the community? I must have missed something here.

A study conducted by the University of Kent into the legacy of the 2004 Athens Olympics has found there was at best only a temporary impact on people taking up sport.

What is evident from the statistics in Greece is that rather than producing a lasting impact on a generation of people who are excited about sport, the Games in Greece had at best only a temporary impact on participation in sport and physical activity.

The data for the Greek population suggests that, if a broader strategy towards an active lifestyle is not implemented, then sporting excitement on its own will not sustain participation.

Businesses and people, especially an old-established Gypsy Site, had to make way for the development of the Olympic facilities which, as it turns out more and more by now, will not remain for community use at all, will be sold off, and/or redeveloped for profit.

According to data from Greece there may be a reduction and possibly a rebound effect, even, where participation drops to levels lower even than during the pre-Olympic period. Not at all what Lord Coe and the crew were telling us all.

This has nothing to do with any benefits for the community, making people more active, and all that, but everything with prestige and stupidity and is nothing but a huge waste of money for which London tax payers will be forking out for many, many years to come. We should have let the games go the Paris who so desperately wanted them. They are not benefiting London and Britain one bit.

© 2011