News / Europe

London Olympics Legacy Difficult to Quantify

Al Pessin
LONDON — London Olympics organizers say along with a short-term economic boost and new sports facilities, the Games will leave a legacy in Britain of increased participation in sports and an improvement in public health.  

It's hard to tell if sports centers will be more crowded after the Olympics, with Britons determined to be more fit.  Opinions vary among Londoners near Olympic Park.

"People need to get that encouragement because it tends to be going the other way at the moment, with people sitting in front of [video] games all day," said one bystander.

The recent finals of the annual British university games at the new Olympic Stadium attracted a record number of participants.  

"I think the Olympics being here is truly inspiring people to actually do something that they haven't done for a long time," said University sports official Karen Rothery.

That is in keeping with the kind of post-Games benefits the London Organizing Committee wants.  It formed a separate company to plan for the legacy, and company official Peter Tudor says one goal is to get as many people as possible to use the new sports facilities.

"'Inspire A Generation' is the new motto of the Games, and we're very excited about that," Tudor said.  "We are committed with the venues to programming them absolutely to the brim with sporting activities that people want to do.  But also to encouraging people who have never tried sport before."

But there is no scientific evidence that the Olympics will make any long-term difference in sports participation says Professor Adam Blake at Bournemouth University School of Tourism.

"In terms of academic research on sports participation, it's really not as cut and dried and black and white as we would hope it would be.  In previous events, there really wasn't much evidence either way," noted Blake.

Blake is planning more research after the Games. 

In the meantime, people in Britain have been coming out in unexpectedly high numbers to catch a glimpse of the Olympic torch as it is carried around the country. Their enthusiasm indicates at least the potential to promote sports participation after the Games.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ed from: California
July 04, 2012 3:42 AM
Just FYI, I'm from California and on July 3 at 11:25PM (Pacific Time) 7:25AM (UK time) I happened to come across the live coverage of the torch relay online. I was quite mesmerized and continued to watch the exchange in the lighting of each torch whle admiring the streets and noticing the weather condition. At approximately 7:30AM (UK time), I was completely shocked after witnessing the torch completely extinguished during the exchange! It was then lit by a lighter from one of the jogging escorts. I heard loud gasps from the crowd! It's late and it's way past my bedtime. My jaw is still on the floor and I just thought I'd share it with y'all before I hit the hay..so much for for the Olympic tradition <sigh>

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs