The Likely Impacts of London 2012 Upon Uk Sport and Society Critically Considering Its Likely Legacy for All Levels of British Society

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  • Topic: Summer Olympic Games, Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics
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  • Published : March 6, 2013
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Sociology of Sport

Huw Lewis
B.A. (Hons) Sport and Recreation Management
May 2009

“Discuss the likely impacts of London 2012 upon UK sport and society critically considering its likely legacy for all levels of British society.”

The current global economic problems have produced immense anxiety amongst the public and as per the reports from developing and developed countries many people already have started to cut down their expenses upon leisure activities. The recession is so severe that many people have already lost their jobs with many others afraid of losing theirs in the near future. Most countries, worldwide have cut back their expenditures on non productive sectors in order to overcome the current challenges, with this in mind and the spiralling cost of London 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) states that “Britain is justified in spending £9.3 billion on the London 2012 Olympics despite the worst recession since World War Two” (Despite Crisis, 2009) The proposed London Olympics in 2012 is then, going to be a costly affair for Britain and its tax payers especially given the current recession. Even in stable economic conditions most of the earlier Olympiads have not produced the desired results in terms of revenue and sustainability of facilities once the event comes to a close. Sidney 2000 and Los Angeles 1984 are however exceptions to the rule and the question is whether London 2012 can follow in their footsteps. With three year left until London 2012 many concerns have already been aired amongst sociologists and economists regarding the expenditure of such a huge amount in conducting a big event under the current crisis scenario and the repercussions that may well entail after this Olympiad has finished. This paper analyzes the pros and cons of London 2012 through the lenses of the global economic crisis and covers the likely impacts upon British society.

Legacy of London Olympics

“Organisers and government officials hope the Olympics will transform the economically depressed London borough of Newham, which features Stratford and the Lower Lea River Valley. The Newham Council has offered their unequivocal support, particularly citing the proposed 9,000 new homes at the Olympic Park with revamped healthcare and educational facilities, and the building of the Olympic Park itself.” (London Olympics 2012, 2009) Social life standards near the Olympic park will be improved. The opportunity to interact with different people from different countries during 2012 will improve cultural awareness within the community. Infrastructure and general community life will benefit, the locals of the borough near the Olympic village will have access to modern facilities, new housing, roads and improved public transport which can be utilised during and most importantly after the event. Again, new stadiums and sporting facilities will be embraced during the Olympics with overwhelming potential to provide an improved quality of life post 2012, amateur and professional sport along with concerts and other events can be hosted at such venues, this in turn could create sustainability, improving job opportunities and the local economy. “The bid committee believes that the Olympics will create 12,000 new jobs, with the possibility of many of them going to East Londoners.” (London Olympics 2012, 2009) Many people have lost their jobs because of the current recession and hence the offered 12000 new jobs will be a substantial boost for the east London public. Furthermore, indirect job prospects and businesses in near proximity will definitely improve as most of the tourists visiting London 2012 will have good spending habits, hence industry will benefit from the multiplier effect that the Olympics will generate. “The council also hopes that the Olympic Games will provide “role models for our young people in what is the youngest community in Britain” and “radically improve the image of East London and its residents."...
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