Olympic Games

Olympic Games
Prepared by  Prepared by: Christine May, Librarian, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia 
evaluated by  Evaluation by: : Dr Bruce Coe, Australian Society for Sports Historians (ASSH) & International Society of Olympic Historians (February 2018)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 2 February 2018
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Introduction

The Olympic Games are the largest sporting celebration in the world; held every four years with thousands of athletes from nations around the world participating.

This portfolio provides access information relating to the history and value of Olympic sport including results, history and general resources.



The first modern Summer Olympic Games were held in Athens (Greece) in 1896. Australia has competed at every games and hosted two Summer Games: 1956 Melbourne and 2000 Sydney. The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix (France). Australia first competed in a Winter Games at Garmish (Germany) in 1936 and has competed at every games since 1952.

Australia's commitment to continuing Olympic success is a key part of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) High Performance Strategy. The strategy aims to deliver consistent and sustainable international success for Australian athletes, including at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

Olympic Day is celebrated annually on June 23. Since its inception in 1948 it has developed into an opportunity for National Olympic Committees to organize inclusive events, such as sports days, exhibitions, concerts, and school based educational activities, based around the three pillars of “move”, “learn” and “discover”. It was on June 23 in 1894 that the International Olympic Committee was formed as a result of Pierre de Coubertin's work.

summerSummer

WinterWinter

Girl and BoyYouth 

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)

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International Olympic Committee (IOC)

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National Olympic Committees (NOC)

WebsiteWebsite 

International Olympic Committee Medal Winners Database. Search by country, event, sport, and event for all Summer and Winter Olympic Games results.
Sports Reference: Olympic Sports. Contains results sorted by each Olympic Games, by sports, by countries, a list of IOC members and sessions. Olympic results available for every athlete that has competed at the Games.

Summer

Winter

Summer Olympic Games 

  • Summer Games at a Glance. Contains an overview of every Australian team including team size, number of male and female athletes, number of officials, Opening and Closing ceremony flag bearers, break down of medals won, the number of competing nations, and a link to more in-depth information by the Australian Olympic Committee.
Medal Table Summer Olympic Games
(1908 and 1912 Australia and New Zealand competed as part of Australasia)

1

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

1896 Athens
1900 Paris
1904 St. Louis
1908 London
1912 Stockholm
1920 Antwerp
1924 Paris
1928 Amsterdam
1932 Los Angeles
1936 Berlin
1948 London
1952 Helsinki
1956 Melbourne
1960 Rome
1964 Tokyo
1968 Mexico City
1972 Munich
1976 Montreal
1980 Moscow
1984 Los Angeles
1988 Seoul
1992 Barcelona
1996 Atlanta
2000 Sydney
2004 Athens
2008 Beijing
2012 London
2016 Rio
2020 Tokyo
2024 Paris
2028 Los Angeles
10
Gold Medals Gold: 8
Silver Medals Silver: 11
Bronze Medals Bronze: 10
Total: 29
Rank: 10

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 422

8
Gold Medals Gold: 8
Silver Medals Silver: 15
Bronze Medals Bronze: 12
Total: 35
Rank: 8

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 410

6
Gold Medals Gold: 14
Silver Medals Silver: 15
Bronze Medals Bronze: 17
Total: 46
Rank: 6

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 433

4
Gold Medals Gold: 17
Silver Medals Silver: 16
Bronze Medals Bronze: 17
Total: 50
Rank: 4

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 484

4
Gold Medals Gold: 16
Silver Medals Silver: 25
Bronze Medals Bronze: 17
Total: 58
Rank: 4

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 630

7
Gold Medals Gold: 9
Silver Medals Silver: 9
Bronze Medals Bronze: 23
Total: 41
Rank: 7

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 424

10
Gold Medals Gold: 7
Silver Medals Silver: 9
Bronze Medals Bronze: 11
Total: 27
Rank: 10

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 290

15
Gold Medals Gold: 3
Silver Medals Silver: 6
Bronze Medals Bronze: 5
Total: 14
Rank: 15

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 270

14
Gold Medals Gold: 4
Silver Medals Silver: 8
Bronze Medals Bronze: 12
Total: 24
Rank: 14

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 240

15
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 5
Total: 9
Rank: 15

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 123

32
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 1
Bronze Medals Bronze: 4
Total: 5
Rank: 32

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 184

6
Gold Medals Gold: 8
Silver Medals Silver: 7
Bronze Medals Bronze: 2
Total: 17
Rank: 6

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 173

9
Gold Medals Gold: 5
Silver Medals Silver: 7
Bronze Medals Bronze: 5
Total: 11
Rank: 9

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 175

8
Gold Medals Gold: 6
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 10
Total: 18
Rank: 8

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 234

5
Gold Medals Gold: 8
Silver Medals Silver: 8
Bronze Medals Bronze: 6
Total: 22
Rank: 5

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 188

3
Gold Medals Gold: 13
Silver Medals Silver: 8
Bronze Medals Bronze: 14
Total: 35
Rank: 3

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 314

9
Gold Medals Gold: 6
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 3
Total: 11
Rank: 9

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 85

14
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 6
Bronze Medals Bronze: 5
Total: 13
Rank: 14

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 77

30
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 1
Rank: 30

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 33

10
Gold Medals Gold: 3
Silver Medals Silver: 1
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 5
Rank: 10

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 12

19
Gold Medals Gold: 1
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 4
Rank: 19

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 18

11
Gold Medals Gold: 3
Silver Medals Silver: 1
Bronze Medals Bronze: 2
Total: 6
Rank: 11

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 37

16
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 3
Rank: 16

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 13

12
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 3
Total: 57
Rank: 12

Australasian Flag No. Athletes: 26

11
Gold Medals Gold: 1
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 2
Total: 5
Rank: 11

Australasian Flag No. Athletes: 32

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 2

9
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 3
Total: 5
Rank: 9

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 3

8
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 2
Rank: 8

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 1

Winter Olympic Games 

  • Winter Games at a Glance. Contains an overview of every Australian team including team size, number of male and female athletes, number of officials, Opening and Closing ceremony flag bearers, break down of medals won, the number of competing nations, and a link to more in-depth information by the Australian Olympic Committee.
Medal Table Winter Olympic Games
(Australia did not participate in the 1948 St. Moritz games)

1

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1952 Oslo
1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960 Squaw Valley
1964 Innsbruck
1968 Grenoble
1972 Sapporo
1976 Innsbruck
1980 Lake Placid
1984 Sarajevo
1988 Calgary
1992 Albertville
1994 Lillehammer
1998 Nagano
2002 Salt Lake City
2006 Turin
2010 Vancouver
2014 Sochi
2018 Pyeongchang
2020 Lausanne
23
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 3
Rank: 23

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 50

24
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 2
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 3
Rank: 24

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 60

13
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 1
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 3
Rank: 13

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 40

17
Gold Medals Gold: 1
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 2
Rank: 17

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 40

15
Gold Medals Gold: 2
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 2
Rank: 15

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 27

22
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 1
Rank: 22

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 24

22
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 1
Total: 1
Rank: 22

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 25

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 23

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 18

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 10

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 10

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 8

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 4

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 3

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 6

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 31

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 10

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 9

-
Gold Medals Gold: 0
Silver Medals Silver: 0
Bronze Medals Bronze: 0
Total: 0
Rank: -

Australian Flag No. Athletes: 1

Athletes

  • Australian Olympian Search. Every Australian Olympian and their Games results can be found on the AOC website. Simply type in the athlete name and search. For more advanced searches, you can use the drop down boxes to filter by Gender, Medal type, Sport, and Games. 
  • Sports Reference - Australia. Provides information on medallists and placing for each athlete and sport

General



Investment in the Olympic Games and Olympic athletes can impact on society in many ways, such as economic development; tourism; employment; health and well-being; inspiration and role models; international development, aid, and trade; community development; and research and development. For many of these aspects a positive correlation has often been argued for and assumed. However, emerging discourse suggests that the ongoing impact of the Games needs to be assessed in a more nuanced way.  

Legacy

For hosts of the Olympic Games one of the key factors discussed is often the legacy, or ongoing benefits and effects, that hosting the Games will provide the community, both locally and nationally. These factors often include new or upgraded infrastructure, such as sport facilities and mass transportation systems, and the perceived flow-on effect on sport participation and physical activity. The IOC's Olympic Legacy brochure (PDF  - 6.6 MB) explicitly requires potential host cities to provide a strong vision and clear objectives for what hosting the Games, and even the bidding process, can do for the country, city, and individual citizens.  

  • Action & Legacy Plan. Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, (July 2016). To promote actions that will result in positive and long lasting legacies, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee is working closely with various stakeholders to promote a range of comprehensive actions from the initials stages of planning in the five following pillars: Sport and Health; Urban Planning and Sustainability; Culture and Education; Economy and Technology; Recovery, Nationwide Benefits, and Global Communication. 
  • Considering legacy as a multi-dimensional construct: The legacy of the Olympic Games. Nola Agha, Sheranne Fairley & Healther Gibson, Sport Management Review, Volume 15, Issue 1, (February 2012), p.125-139. This case follows a sport professional tasked with developing an Olympic bid for their city. Specifically, the case considers various legacy outcomes including: destination image, tourism, cost, venues, housing, and social legacies. The case is written with anonymity of the actual city so that the instructor can adapt the case to a specific city. The case is particularly useful for courses covering sport tourism, stakeholder management, event management, or sport economics and finance.
  • How to Bid Better for the Olympics: A Participatory Mega-Event Planning Strategy for Local Legacies, Eva Kassens-Noor & John Lauermann, Journal of the American Planning Association, Volume 83(4), (2017). Cities considering mega-event bids should encourage a fully participatory planning process that provides genuine local legacies and is transparent about costs and who will bear overruns. City planners would contribute significantly to bid planning that meets these objectives. Cities should also pressure Olympic organizations to make supportive changes in their selection requirements.
  • Learning Legacy. Through this project, London 2012 is sharing the knowledge and the lessons learned from the construction of the Olympic Park and preparing and staging the Olympic Games.
  • Olympic and Paralympic legacy: Inspired by 2012 – fourth annual reportUK Department for Culture, Media & Sport, (4 August 2016). Report by the UK government and the Mayor of London on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More reports available from the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic legacy archive
  • Olympic Games Legacy: From General Benefits to Sustainable Long-Term Legacy. Becca Leopkey & Milena Parent, International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 29, Issue 6, (April 2012), p.924-943. This article maps the evolution of the legacy concept over time using bid and final report documentation from Olympic Games host and candidate cities. Examples of modern trends include numerous new legacy themes (e.g. environmental, information, educational); changes in the types of legacy being emphasised (e.g. closer links to city and regional planning initiatives and legacy sustainability), its increasing complexity and interconnectedness found within the typology of legacies, and legacy's overall governance including major influencers and decision makers. 
  • Olympic Games Rio 2016: The legacy (PDF  - 375 KB). International Olympic Committee, (March 2017). The Olympic Games Rio 2016 delivered many inspiring athletic achievements that were witnessed and shared by a vast global audience through record-breaking media coverage and unprecedented levels of digital engagement. Against a backdrop of economic, political and social challenges, they also set new standards for legacy planning that have left an important heritage.
  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: an assessment of the 2012 London Games Legacies, Simona Azzali, City, Territory & Architecture, Volume 4(11), (December 2011). The London 2012 Olympics were the first Games with a legacy plan already in execution well before the beginning of the event. This study aims at evaluating the legacies of this Olympic edition, with particular regard to the new public open spaces created and their sustainability. The research carries out a post-occupancy evaluation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which is the main output of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Results show good achievements in terms of physical and social integration while the economic impact appears to be the weakest legacy from hosting the Games.
  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games Sustainability and Legacy Stories: a selection of good practices (PDF  - 7.6 MB). International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS), (2016).  This booklet outlines several initiatives that seeks to engage the wider audience on sustainability and legacy. It contains easy-to-understand, positive stories that were collected by the AISTS during the 2016 Rio Games. 
  • Road To Rio: London’s Uncertain Olympic Legacy Calls The Promise Of Rio Games Into Question. Hanrahan, M., International Business Times, (6 June 2016). As Rio gears up for its controversial Olympic games, we examine the extent to which the most recent Olympic host, London, delivered on promises of a lasting economic legacy.
  • State strategies for leveraging sports mega-events: unpacking the concept of ‘legacy’, Jonathan Grix, Paul Michael Brannagan, Hannah Wood & Ceri Wynne, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 9(2), pp. 203-218, (2017). This article begins by problematising the notion of SME ‘legacies’ and the benefits they are intended to bring to hosts. The article serves as a general introduction to the papers that follow in this Special Issue. Common to all papers is a concern with the multifaceted nature of ‘legacy’, its meaning to a variety of stakeholders involved in such events and how this impacts policy. The belief in the causal relationship between hosting major events and the realisation of specific legacies – increased sport participation in London’s case, highlighted in this paper – underpinned the United Kingdom’s bidding for, and subsequent hosting of, the Olympics. Thus, this paper serves as a discussion of some of the key concepts in, and assumptions about, the use of SMEs to produce a legacy for the hosting state.
  • Sydney Olympic Park 2000-2010: history and legacy. Richard Cashman, Walla Walla Press, (July 2011). Sydney Olympic Park 2000 to 2010 is the first extended study of the realisation of post-Games legacy in an Olympic city. It raises many new questions about the nature of legacy and when legacy obligations end. The book is based on 50 interviews and tells the story of both the Park itself and the people involved in its realisation.

Economic Impact

Various forms of economic analysis are based upon models that may have very different assumptions, particularly in terms of the initial investment and long-term legacy. Events such as the Asian Cup football tournament do not rely upon a major infrastructure investment and thus capitalise on other investment strategies. On the other hand, the lead-up investment in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games appears to have had a slightly negative economic impact when analysed as a stand-alone investment. 

  • Assessing the Economic Impact of Hosting the Olympic Games (PDF  860 KB), Andrew Cordova, KAHPERD Journal, Volume 52(2), pp.22-27, (Spring 2015). The purpose of this paper is to examine the economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games and to determine whether or not host countries achieve their desired financial expectations. Factors such as Olympic related effects, economic multipliers, and infrastructure and its associated costs will be discussed in relation to the bidding, funding, and ultimate staging of the games. 
  • Assessing the Olympic Games: the economic impacts and beyond, Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo, Maria Rita Pierleoni, Journal of Economic Surveys, (7 June 2017). The study reviews the main approaches to the economic assessment of the Games, from the point of view of the underlying economic concepts and methodologies, as well as of the empirical results obtained. It focuses on the effects that are measured and on those, which even though important, are generally neglected. The general findings appear to be controversial with some hints of positive overall effects, but also with a well-documented tendency to exaggerate the benefits and underestimate the costs of holding the Games in the ex ante versus the ex post studies. The survey finally suggests that ex post cross-country econometric studies tend to catch sizable differential and persistent benefits ignored by individual studies, especially on macroeconomic and trade variables.
  • Assessing the Olympics: Preliminary economic analysis of a Boston 2024 Games – Impacts, opportunities and risks (PDF  1.9 MB). University of Massachusetts, Donahue Institute for Economic and Public Policy Research, (March 2015). This report neither suggests that holding the 2024 Olympic Games will be an economic success, nor does it predict economic disaster. Instead, it shows that staging an Olympics Games could be a net economic positive, but that success will depend upon smart budgeting and effective planning to avoid some of the huge cost overruns that have beset some Olympics host cities in the past. 
  • Economic impact study of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games: Post-event analysisKPMG and the Office of Commonwealth Games Coordination, (2006). The total expenditure associated with the 2006 Games in Victoria was around $2.9 billion. In terms of the impact on the Victorian economy, using a Computable General Equilibrium modelling approach, the 2006 Games was estimated to result in an increase in Gross State Product of around $1.6 billion. The positive impact of the Games on the Victorian economy is derived from two major effects: (1) the external money input into the economy of Victoria through tourist visitation, and; (2) the bringing forward of the activity associated with the facilities investment required to undertake the Games.
  • Economic Impacts of the Olympic Games through State Comparison (PDF  2.0 MB), Samanta Eds, (April 2012). The purpose of this paper is to study current economic cost and benefit analysis, before quantifying if and when benefits exist for the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games. To assess the economic impact of hosting the Olympics, the host state/region will be compared to a same-country state/region that did not host the Games through the examination of infrastructure, prestige and general financial growth models over a nine-year period. Apart from one section—construction—from the 1992 Barcelona Games, all models appear to show that host states/regions do not have significantly different changes in growth compared to the control states/regions. 
  • Going for Gold: The Economics of the Olympics. Robert A. Baade and Victor A. Matheson, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 30, No. 2, (Spring 2016). In this paper, we explore the costs and benefits of hosting the Olympic Games. On the cost side, there are three major categories: general infrastructure such as transportation and housing to accommodate athletes and fans; specific sports infrastructure required for competition venues; and operational costs, including general administration as well as the opening and closing ceremony and security. Three major categories of benefits also exist: the short-run benefits of tourist spending during the Games; the long-run benefits or the "Olympic legacy" which might include improvements in infrastructure and increased trade, foreign investment, or tourism after the Games; and intangible benefits such as the "feel-good effect" or civic pride.
  • The Olympic Games Always Go Over Budget, in One Chart (1968-2016)howmuch, (November 2016). The water in one swimming pool turned green. Apart from that, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro went off without a hitch. Preliminary figures also indicate that the Rio Olympics 'only' cost 51% more than originally budgeted – which by Olympic standards is a great success.
  • Socio-economic impact of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games (PDF  - 80 KB). Haynes, J., Centre d’Estudis Olimpics UAB, (2001). The total cost of staging the Olympic Games as announced by NSW Treasurer Michael Egan was $6.5 billion. Several projection reports on the economic impact of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games appeared before the Games, they estimated that over the period 1994-95 through 2005-06 the Sydney Games would generate a total of $6.5 billion in economic activity, a large part of this through increased tourism.
  • The Sydney Olympics, seven years on: An ex-post dynamic CGE assessment (PDF  - 225 KB). Giesecke, J. and Madden, J., Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University, General Paper Number G-168, (2007). This analysis is based upon a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. This analysis found that the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games generated a net consumption loss of approximately $2.1 billion. The increase in foreign tourist spending lifted Australia’s terms of trade by only 0.09% in 2000-01. The sectors that gained most were those who sold goods, provided accommodation, services and transport to tourists.
More information about the economic benefits of sport, including major events, is available in the Clearinghouse Economic Contribution of Sport topic. 

Events and Tourism

Tourism represents a significant industry sector, contributing an estimated $117 billion to Australia’s economy. [source: Tourism Forecasts 2016Tourism Australia, July 2016]. Sports tourism is a niche market which can be broadly described as tourism generated by participation (as a spectator, competitor, official, journalist, etc.) in sporting activity. That activity can be a single event or series of competitions or activities; as with a touring team, interstate, or international league matches, or a training camp. Although sports tourism may account for a small portion of the total, even a 1% share of the tourism market represents a substantial amount.

  • Challenges facing immediate tourism leveraging: evidence from the London 2012 Olympic Games, Rami Mhanna, Adam Blake & Ian Jones, Managing Sport and Leisure, Volume 22(2), pp.147-165, (2017). Models of event leveraging identify strategies that organisers can use to increase the benefits that sport events bring to host destinations. Amongst these, leveraging tourism benefits during the event is a frequently cited strategy by which organisers can bring more money into a destination. To date, little work has been conducted on leveraging immediate tourism benefits from mega sport events. In addressing this issue, we reflect and present findings related to previously identified event leveraging theories that are determined by tourists’ activities at a host destination. These are (a) enticing visitor spending and (b) lengthening visitor stay. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the use of such leveraging strategies during the London 2012 Olympic Games to increase event-related tourism. Results from 15 interviews with key stakeholders demonstrate that the effectiveness of these leveraging strategies can be limited by a number of challenges: (1) limited strategies to entice visitor spending (2) limited interest in tourism attractions (3) lack of location attractiveness (4) the displacement effect and (5) the impact of the wider economic environment. Key challenges and opportunities are detailed, a discussion on the implications for event leveraging is provided and potential areas for future research are outlined.
  • How Global Sporting Events Score Economic Goals. Mike Fletcher, Raconteur, (2 March 2016). As another summer of spectacular sport beckons, what is the business case for hosting a major global sporting event? Is the investment in stadiums and infrastructure matched by increased visitor numbers and spending? 
  • What should you pay to host a party? An economic analysis of hosting sports mega-events. Heather Mitchell & Mark Fergusson Stewart, Applied Economics, Volume 47, Issue 15, (2015). Governments all over the world put huge amounts of money into bidding for, and then hosting, sports events like Football’s World Cup or the Olympic Games. They also give money to professional sports teams and other mega-events to encourage them to locate within a particular constituency. This article examines the statistical relationship between tourism and three Football World Cups and five Olympic Games, finding very little positive effect. Given this conclusion, the article looks at why governments continue to bid for these competitions. It presents evidence that shows that these sports contests make people happy, and argues that politicians capitalise on this feel-good factor; harnessing the hubris associated with these events for political gain. The article then contends that the best way to reduce the politics associated with bidding for mega-events is to allocate them via an auction, rather than the wasteful rent-seeking methods that are currently used.
  • Winter Olympic Games, cities, and tourism: a systematic literature review in this domain, Marilyne Gaudette, Romain Roult & Sylvain Lefebvre, Journal of Sport & Tourism, Volume 21(4), pp.287-313, (2017). Although research shows that the Games represent an opportunity for the development of the tourism industry, the scoping review showed mixed results in terms of tourist flows and the enhancement of the city’s image. The concluding remarks identify the limitations of this study and offer opportunities and areas of research regarding the next Winter Games.

Facilities and Infrastructure

Investment by both public and private sources into sporting facilities and infrastructure is seen as providing employment during the construction phase as well as essential community services. There is also an economic legacy of investment in major sporting facilities, as evidenced from the 2000 Sydney Olympic & Paralympic Games and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games experiences. There are lessons to be learnt from the hosting of less successful mega-events in regard to the potential economic (and social) return on facility and infrastructure investment. Evidence suggests that facility and infrastructure planning that adopts a long-term and multi-dimensional approach can produce a positive return on investment when measured over many years.

  • Adaptable design in Olympic construction, Laura Alexandra Brown, Manuel Cresciani, International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Volume 35(4), pp.397-416, (2017). In the selected case studies (Rome 1960, London 2012), adaptability has had a positive impact on the post-Games use of venues, all four of which remain in use today. However, there are multiple factors that contribute to post-Games legacy, and further research is necessary.
  • Game on: mega-event infrastructure opportunities (PDF  - 915 KB). Price Waterhouse Coopers, (2011). Investment in mega-event related infrastructure can impact upon economic development for three decades. In this report, the analysis focuses upon infrastructure investments and the long-term implications for the region where those investments occurred.
  • It’s how you play the game: Matching a region’s priorities with the right mega – or not so mega – event (PDF   - 1.5 MB). Price Waterhouse Coopers, (April 2014). PwC’s publication presents a framework for helping a city or region decide which event to host, based on key questions under the categories of overall readiness, venues, legacy, supporting infrastructure and intellectual capital. The publication then goes on to explore a number of key aspects on hosting sports events, including ways in which a city or region can maximise the impact of hosting events.
  • Looking for legacy: for a sustainable impact of major sports infrastructure (PDF   - 1.2 MB). The City Factory, (2011). Sporting infrastructure initially designed to host one-time events need massive investments. Therefore, it’s essential to look at sports infrastructure with a long-term view, as elements of an overall urban renewal.
  • Using sports infrastructure to deliver economic and social change: Lessons for London beyond 2012 (PDF - 2.0 MB). Davies, L., Sheffield Hallam University, (2011). This commentary examines regeneration legacy in the context of the London Olympic Games. In particular, it focuses on the use of sports stadia as a tool for delivering economic and social change, and by drawing upon previous examples, suggesting lessons London can learn to enhance regeneration legacies beyond 2012.

Further information regarding the links between sports and infrastructure can be found in the Clearinghouse Facility Planning and Use and Active Transport topics.

Sport Participation

The potential impact of hosting or participating in the Olympic & Paralympic Games to increasing sport participation for both broad and specific population groups is often highlighted. This can include increasing the frequency of people already participating; re-engaging with people who have previously participated; or enticing people to try new sports and activities. The evidence generally shows that there can be a correlation, but that long term participation changes require additional strategies to maximise the impact of the Games.     

  • Creating sport participation from sport events: making it happen, Laurence Chalip, B. Christine Green, Marijke Taks & Laura Misener, International Journal of Sport Policy & Politics, Volume 9(2), pp.257-276, (2017). 12 expert panellists were invited to consider the challenges, opportunities, and prospects of leveraging sport events to enhance sport participation at local levels. It is concluded that sport events can be leveraged to enhance sport participation if the necessary alliances among sport organisations, event organisers and non-sport stakeholders are forged to integrate each event into the marketing mix of sport organisations. It is also noted that potential barriers to enhanced participation need to be addressed, particularly lack of available capacity to absorb new participants, crowding out of local participation by the event, and the disincentives resulting from elite performances that seem outside the reach of aspiring participants.
  • Did the 2000 Sydney Olympics increase physical activity among adult Australians? Bauman, Adrian; Bellew, Bill; Craig, Cora L., British Journal of Sports Medicine, Volume 49, Issue 4, (February 2015), p.243. The Olympic Games' (OG) organisers typically hope that a diverse range of health legacies, including increases in physical activity and sport participation will result from their hosting of the OG. Despite these aspirations, the effects of the Olympics on physical activity levels remain to be demonstrated in large-scale population studies. This study examined the short-term impact of the Sydney 2000 OG, using serial cross-sectional population physical activity surveys of Australian adults in November 1999 and November 2000. Findings indicated that the intention to be active in the next month increased after the Games (adjusted OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.24), but was not associated with physical activity behaviour change. The legacy of the OG may be apparent through new infrastructure and other urban improvements, but evidence of their influence on physical activity levels remains elusive. Without multiyear integrated and well-funded programmes to promote physical activity, the Olympic legacy of a more active community may remain more rhetoric than reality.
  • Leveraging the sport participation legacy of the London 2012 Olympics: senior managers’ perceptions, Emily Jane Hayday, Athanasios (Sakis) Pappous & Niki Koutrou, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 9(2), pp.349-369, (2017), The purpose of this study was to understand how a sports mega event (SME) was leveraged to try and increase participation, through the investigation of national governing bodies (NGBs) opinions and attitudes. This research offers insights to enhance the policy implementation process within the sports development sector. The importance of communication, competitive nature of sports system, media, club engagement, organisational capacity and monitoring and evaluation were highlighted, which provided useful insights into the multidimensional constructs that can aid future leveraging strategies prior to hosting SMEs.
  • London 2012 and its legaciesInternational Journal of Sport Policy, Volume 5, Issue 2, (July 2013), p.163. Presents an introduction to the various reports within the International Journal of Sport Policy Volume 5, Issue 2 (2013) ‘An assessment of UK sport policy in comparative context’. Topics in the issue include the legacies of the 2012 London Olympics, the ups and downs of school sport partnerships (SSPs), and the use Sport England's Active People Survey.
  • Long-term impact of the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games on sport participation: A cohort analysis, Kurumi Aizawa, Ji Wu, Yuhei Inoue, Mikihiro Sato, Sport Management Review, (26 May 2017). This study investigated whether the cohort effect generated by the shared experience of hosting the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games during their youth can explain the increased sport participation of elderly Japanese. Data from the Japanese National Sport-Life Survey over 20 years were analyzed through regression analysis. The results show that, after controlling for demographics and other determinants of sport participation, individuals who experienced the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games participated in sport more frequently than other generations.
  • The Olympic Games and raising sport participation: a systematic review of evidence and an interrogation of policy for a demonstration effect. Weed, Mike; Coren, Esther; Fiore, Jo; Wellard, Ian; Chatziefstathiou, Dikaia; Mansfield, Louise; Dowse, Suzanne, European Sport Management Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 2, (April 2015), p.195. This article investigates the potential impact of the ‘demonstration effect’ on increasing sport participation and finds that although there is no evidence for an inherent demonstration effect, a potential demonstration effect, properly leveraged, may deliver increases in sport participation frequency and re-engage lapsed participants. It also suggests that the successive UK Governments failed to harness the potential influence of the 2012 London Olympic & Paralympic Games demonstration effect on demand and therefore failed to deliver increased participation.
  • Olympic sport and physical activity promotion: the rise and fall of the London 2012 pre-event mass participation ‘legacy’. Bretherton, Paul; Piggin, Joe; Bodet, Guillaume, International Journal of Sport Policy, Volume 8, Issue 4, (November 2016), p.609. The legacies of Sport Mega Events (SMEs) such as the Olympic Games are increasingly regarded as significant opportunities to increase sport and physical activity (PA) participation. This article examines the pre-event sport/PA policy target of the London 2012 Olympic Games: the aim of increasing overall participation by two million between June 2008 and the Games in 2012 (a target that was abandoned in 2011). Three specific themes are discussed: the inconsistency between how sport/PA participation was constructed in terms of both ‘risk’ and ‘reward’ by different organisations; the reliance upon intangible concepts such as ‘inspiration’ and the status of the Olympic Games to increase participation; and the rationales given for the subsequent abandonment of the pre-event PA participation targets in 2011. The abandonment of the pre-Games participation targets holds two overarching policy implications for future SME host governments and organisers. First, host governments cannot rely on the unique status or ‘inspiration’ of the Games alone to increase participation and must pursue this more proactively. Second, the ultimate failure of these policies should not be attributed exclusively to their intrinsic limitations, but also to a range of external environmental factors. Pre-event SME legacies must therefore be planned with sufficient awareness of the social and political contexts in which the event takes place.
  • Rio 2016 and the sport participation legacies. Reis, Arianne C.; de Sousa-Mast, Fabiana Rodrigues; Gurgel, Luilma A., Leisure Studies, Volume 33, Issue 5, (September 2014), p.437. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions held by physical education professionals of the sport participation legacy associated with the 2016 Olympic Games (Rio 2016). The perceptions of post-Games changes in sport participation, using the 2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan-American Games as a point of comparison, ranged from no impact to a short-term increase. The reason for this, according to participants, was the lack of long-term planning and policies to encourage and promote sport participation. In conclusion, in order for benefits of mega events to be leveraged, the different levels of government need to develop long-term actions and policies to encourage sports participation in conjunction with the employment of the infrastructural legacy towards this end. 

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Major sports events like the Olympic & Paralympic games can involve massive infrastructure projects that impact on the landscape. While several past Olympic Games attempted to be ‘green’, the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games and 2012 London Games are considered prime examples of how the Olympic charter and ethos have embraced environmental concerns. 

  • The adoption and evolution of environmental practices in the Olympic Games, Walker J. Ross & Becca Leopkey, Managing Sport & Leisure, Volume 22(1), pp.1-18, (2017). This paper explores the evolution of environmental practices in the Olympic Movement and how they have become institutionalized within the field by using qualitative methodology consisting of content analysis of International Olympic Committee and Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games documents as well as other archival sources. 
  • Green Olympics, green legacies? An exploration of the environmental legacies of the Olympic Games. Shalini Samuel & Wendy Stubbs, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Volume 48, Issue 4, (2013). This paper explores the legacies from the greening of the OG through an analysis of Beijing 2008, Singapore 2010, and London 2012, drawing on interviews with key stakeholders. While each OG is different, the key determinants for green legacies include: the breadth and depth of environmental commitments during the bid process; embedding sustainability in the vision, mission and branding of organizing committees; embedding sustainability in various aspects of OG organization, which is an important practical application of a sustainability vision; and the transfer of knowledge from one OG to the next, allowing newer host cities to enhance green legacies. 
  • Leveraging the 2010 Olympic Games ‘Sustainability’ in a City of Vancouver Initiative (PDF  - 191 KB). VanWynsberghe, R.; Maurer, E.; and Derom, I., University of British Columbia, (2010). Theoretically, sustainability is likely to be a factor in future leveraging efforts because it is an increasingly strategic move in sporting mega-event bidding. ‘Sustainability’ in this context means attempting to reconcile constituents’ needs in three broad areas—economic, environmental, and social. Sustainability is also a coherent rationale that directs the public’s post-event momentum toward individual actions that enhance the community's collective well-being and prosperity. Public perceptions of ‘good’ environment practice may be one of the longest lasting legacies of hosting a major sporting event. One year before the 2010 Winter Games, the City of Vancouver announced its ambition to become the world’s ‘greenest city’  by embracing a series of citizen based actions toward environmental concerns – such as recycling initiatives, encouraging active transport (commuting by bicycle and walking), and improving curbside landscaping in residential neighbourhoods. There were also government led initiatives — such as setting a world leading green building code, creating a corporate leaders program to champion environmental issues, and requiring electric-car charging units be built into new multi-unit residential buildings. All initiatives were ‘leveraged’ by Winter Olympic hosting promotions.
  • Lillehammer 1994 set the stage for sustainable Games legaciesInternational Olympic Committee, (2014). More than 20 sustainability projects were implemented before, during and after the Games, examples include: relocating the speed skating arena in Hamar to protect a sanctuary for rare birds; designing and constructing the ice hockey venue to conserve energy; using reclaimed stone from the construction of the ski jump site in other venues; and using local construction materials. More than twenty years after the Games, venues are still available for public use and have hosted many international events.
  • Making a Difference (PDF  - 2.1 MB). Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, Post-Games Report, (March 2013). This final report attempts to gather evidence to understand if resources used to stage the Games are in some way compensated for by more sustainable practices inspired by, or as a direct result of, the Games. Despite some difficulties along the way, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have both produced an excellent suite of policies that may be used in other situations, thus delivering a legacy of the 2012 Games.
  • Olympic environmental concerns as a legacy of the Winter Games. Chappelet, J., The International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 25, Issue 14, (2008). This paper explores how the ideas of environmental protection and sustainable development have been slowly incorporated into the Olympic narrative. The author shows how a set of environmental principles were developed through the experiences of local committees during the 1970s, and how the International Olympic Committee adopted them for the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games and incorporated them into the Olympic ideal.
  • The Olympic Games Impact (OGI) study for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games: strategies for evaluating sport mega-events’ contribution to sustainability. Vanwynsberghe, Robert, International Journal of Sport Policy, Volume 7, Issue 1, (March 2015), p.1. This paper introduces three techniques for evaluating the sustainability of sport mega-events. The three techniques are bundling/leveraging, before–after control, and sustainability scorecards. This article would be of interest to future prospective Olympic host cities, researchers of mega-events and their impacts and practitioners who evaluate urban sustainability. 
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games high level Sustainability Plan (PDF  - 272 KB). Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, (2016).  
For more information about sport and the environment see the Clearinghouse Sport, Climatic Conditions and Environmental Concerns topic. 

Broadcasting

The broadcasting of Olympic Games is based upon the Olympic Charter and aims to ensure that the events are covered in their fullest by as many differing media types as possible and made available to the widest audience. The IOC is the owner of the global broadcast rights for the Olympic Games – including broadcasts on television, radio, mobile, and internet platforms – and is responsible for allocating Olympic broadcast rights to media companies throughout the world through the negotiation of rights agreements.

As President of the IOC in 1980 Juan Antonio Samaranch oversaw a change in the way in which the Olympic Games were marketed. For the first time it was recognised that selling the broadcast rights had the capacity to generate significant income, in particular to the American market. Based on the change made to the Olympic Charter in 1971, Samaranch encouraged the IOC to take control over negotiations with television operators, albeit with the presence of host city representatives in the first instance. 

Revenue from the broadcast rights of the Summer Olympic Games grew from US$1.2 million for the 1960 Rome Games to US$2868.0 billion for the Rio 2016 Games. While not quite as lucrative due to a more limited audience the Winter Olympic Games broadcast revenue grew from US$0.051964 million for the 1960 Squaw Valley Games to US$1,289 billion for the 2014 Sochi Games. [note: A$1 equals approximately US$1.3] These broadcast partnerships have been the biggest source of revenue for the Olympic Movement for over 30 years, providing a secure financial base which has helped ensure the continuing viability of the Olympic Games. [Source: IOC Olympic Marketing Fact File 2017 edition (PDF  - 2.7 MB), International Olympic Committee, (2017)] 

  • The primacy of sports television: Olympic media, social networking services, and multi-screen viewing during the Rio 2016 games, Brett Hutchins & Jimmy Sanderson, Media International Australia, (11 May 2017). Using the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a case study, this article examines the intersections between (1) broadcast television coverage of the Games, (2) digital live streaming of Olympic events via desktop computing and mobile apps, and (3) the social networking services, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. It is argued that broadcast television anchors the flow of content across screens, with social networking services both extending the televisual logics of media sports coverage and emphasizing their own commercial influence and command of massive user numbers. This arrangement ultimately bolsters the power of television as the primary means through which sports mega-events are experienced.

For more information about broadcasting and sport see the Clearinghouse Sports Broadcasting topic.  



Annual reports

Books and guides

Education

  • Australian Olympic Committee Education Program
  • Olympic Values & Education Program. Produced by the International Olympic Committee this resource uses the symbols of the Olympic Games, the themes of Olympism, and draws on the lore of the ancient and modern Olympic Games to disseminate a values-based curriculum that will shape the development of child and youth character. Using the context of Olympic sports, participants are taught skills and strategies that will help them to assume the responsibilities of global citizenship and civic literacy.

History

  • The Modern Olympic Games (PDF PDF document - 1.9 MB) by the International Olympic Committee (The Olympic Museum Educational and Cultural Services, 3rd edition, 2013)
    The Olympic Studies Centre. Discover the official references and sources on Olympism (International Olympic Committee)
  • The Ancient Olympics. A special exhibit of the Perseus Digital Library. Compare ancient and modern Olympic sports, tour the site of Olympia as it looks today, learn about the context of the Games and the Olympic spirit, or read about the Olympic athletes who were famous in ancient times. (Perseus database)

Museum, library, & archive collections

  • Olympic World Library. The Olympic Studies Centre's, Olympic World Library (OWL), is a library catalogue, information portal and a search engine for Olympic knowledge.
  • National Sports Museum in Melbourne maintains and displays memorabilia related to Australia at the Olympic Games.
  • The Clearinghouse for Sport Resource Centre at the AIS campus in Canberra maintains a collection of Olympic, Paralympic & Commonwealth Games resources, with a focus on Australian historical material up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics as well as a collection of published videos on the Olympic Games.
  • Australian Centre for Olympic Studies - Olympic Studies Room hosts an archive of material for Olympic Games and Paralympic Games research. It is located on the UTS Library, Kuring-gai campus in Sydney.
  • Melbourne Cricket Club Library acts as a major national and international repository for information on sport and sports history. Their collection includes a large amount of material relating to the Olympic Games and in particular the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
  • International Olympic Committee Museum has a permanent exhibition, The Olympic Museum in Switzerland, and offers temporary exhibitions and a varied cultural programme throughout the year. Special programmes are created for each edition of the Games.
  • LA84 Foundation Digital Archive includes full text: periodicals, proceedings/interviews, Olympic Games official reports since 1896 and Olympic oral histories. 

Podcasts

  • School yard to sports star with Chloe Esposito. Rio Olympic Games Modern Pentathlon gold medallist, Chloe Esposito, talks about her school sport days and has a few tips for kids about playing sport. (AIS, SoundCloud, 16 March 2017)
  • School yard to sports star with Kim Brennan. Olympic Gold Medallist rower Kim Brennan reminisces about her time playing sport at school, and gives her top tips to kids about playing sport. (AIS, SoundCloud, 15 December 2016)

Research Organisations

  • The Australian Centre for Olympic Studies (ACOS) was launched in 2005, to provide a national focus for Olympic studies and continue the work of the centre based at the University of New South Wales which closed in 2004. ACOS seeks to coordinate and publicise relevant university research, teaching and community services. By gathering information about the organisation of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and other major international sporting events, UTS has developed a research database to assist in the organisation of future events.
  • The International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) was formed in 1991 to promote and study the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games. This is achieved primarily through research into the history of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games; through the gathering of historical and statistical data concerning the Olympic Movement and Olympic Games; through the publication of the research via journals and other publications and; through the cooperation of the membership.

Clearinghouse Videos

Please note a number of the resources below (as indicated) are restricted to ‘GOLD' AIS Advantage small AIS Advantage members only.
Please see the Clearinghouse membership categories for further information.

Video & Image Collections

  • The Olympic Television Archive Bureau (OTAB) manage the commercial processes of licensing Olympic footage and the associated symbols on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Their video library includes over 30,000 hours of footage from the last 100+ years.
  • The Clearinghouse for Sport has copies of Australian broadcast footage and images of Australian athletes purchased from external suppliers available to view at the Australian Institute of Sport campus in Canberra. Due to licensing and copyright restrictions access/use may be restricted. You can search the Catalogue of Australian Sport Sector Library Collections to see what video resources are held.  

YouTube Videos

Web Archives


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