New publication

Olympic and Paralympic Games : ever in Africa ? / Heidi Beha

Beha, Heidi

Edité par MESGO. [S.l.] - 2018

The five interlaced rings are the symbol of the Olympic Games representing the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes. When it comes to the history of host cities on the five continents, though, Africa is an empty spot on the world map: it has not yet staged the world’s biggest multi-sport competition. Another symbol, the Olympic motto “faster, higher, stronger” (Citius, altius, fortius) is under scrutiny these days: Are those values still valid today or has the age of unlimited growth, ever more expensive Games come to a turning point? The IOC has started a process of rethinking the OG and with the announcement to host the Youth Olympic Games 2022 in an African city, the question arises, if Olympic and Paralympic Games will ever happen in Africa? With the “Olympic Agenda 2020”, the IOC drew a strategic roadmap for change and review of the future of the OG: “Olympic Agenda 2020” contains 40 recommendations that had been worked on in a stakeholder consultation process. The IOC’s aim is to conserve all that makes the Olympic Games unique and revenue creating, while simplifying the candidature process, create more value for host cities over the long term and less expensive Games. The future “post-2028” of the Olympic “Summer” Games is in the making. By thinking about the future of the OG and a potential host city in Africa, several factors have to be taken into account: 1) the special economic environment concerning developing and middle-incomecountries and mega sport events (Andreff, 2006), 2) ecology, climate change and participation (Gouguet 2015, Preuss 2016), 3) (good or “better”) governance (Chappelet, 2017) and 4) stakeholder inclusion, collaboration and stakeholder management (Parent, 2013). “A New Norm” for the Olympic Games is putting the concepts of “sustainability” and “legacy” at the centre of its attention – a terminology that is widely used and hardly defined. While the IOC has a narrower understanding of “sustainability” with a strong emphasis on the environmental dimension, they understand “legacy” broader: Legacy, the result of a vision including tangible and intangible longterm benefits initiated or accelerated by the hosting of the OG. From the academic perspective, this definition is problematic because the quest for the right measurement for long-term benefits caused by the Games, is an ongoing discourse in academic literature: How to capture, quantify and assess “all structural changes left after the Games”? (Preuss, 2016, p. 29). The available data and literature on OG and Africa is rather limited. This thesis includes a set of quantitative and qualitative data resulting from 46 standardized interviews (questionnaires) with decision makers and stakeholders of the OG. More than 20 Presidents, General Secretaries, Vice-Presidents and CEOs of Associations of International Federations, International Federations, National Olympic Committees as well as Senior sports Journalists, a Social Media Influencer, representatives of sponsors and former world-class athletes were interviewed. Further stakeholders contributed to this research, among them the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (TOCOG), a representative of the Paralympic movement and UN-HABITAT. Deriving from literature review, the analysis of the IOC’s “Olympic Agenda 2020” and the collected data through the decision maker’s and stakeholder interviews, a number of recommendations were formulated and discussed: re-designing the Games and make them less costly ; “More IOC”: linking bidding process with special funding and/or advice by the IOC ; “Rehearsal approach”: growth of experience in hosting of (multi-)sport events ; increased effort on stakeholder management ; reform of bidding process: “shortlisting” ; co-hosting.

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