A Critical Examination of the London 2012 Legacy

  • Mike McGuinness


“Legacy” was a key buzzword that surrounded the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst it is too early to realize many of the outcomes proposed by the UK Government in the lead up to the Games, in July 2013 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published a report on the impacts and legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This report was divided into 12 sections, each claiming positive aspects of the Games. In this chapter, five of these claims, relating to the economic legacy; legacies for participation and inspiration; elite performance and attitudes towards tolerance and inclusion, are critically analysed in an attempt to investigate whether the legacy of London 2012 will really create opportunities for equality and unity rather than inequality and division.


Disable People Olympic Game International Olympic Committee School Sport Legacy Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agha, N., Fairley, S. and Gibson, H. (2012) Considering Legacy as a Multi-dimensional Construct: The Legacy of the Olympic Games. Sport Management Review, 15, 125–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BBC Sport (2013) Sport England: Participation Down by 200,000, Says Survey,, date accessed 12 July 2013.
  3. Braye, S., Dixon, K. and Gibbons, T. (2013) “A Mockery of Equality”: An Exploratory Investigation into Disabled Activists Views of the Paralympic Games. Disability & Society, 28(7), 3–996.Google Scholar
  4. Braye, S., Gibbons, T. and Dixon, K. (2013) Disability “Rights” or “Wrongs”? The Claims of the International Paralympic Committee, the London 2012 Paralympics and Disability Rights in the UK. Sociological Research Online, 18 (3),, date accessed 13 January 2014.
  5. British Basketball (2014) Great Britain Basketball Official Website,, date accessed 10 February 2014.
  6. Bush, A.J., Silk, M.L., Porter, J. and Howe, P.D. (2013) Disability [Sport] and Discourse: Stories Within the Paralympic Legacy. Reflective Practice, 14(5), 3–647.Google Scholar
  7. Cashman, R. (2003) What is Olympic Legacy? In M. de Moragas, C. Kennett and N. Puig (eds) The Legacy of the Olympic Games 1984–2000. Lausanne, International Olympic Committee, 31–42.Google Scholar
  8. DCMS (2007) Winning: A Tourism Strategy for 2012 and Beyond,, date accessed 11 November 2013.
  9. DCMS (2008) Before, During and After: Making the Most of the London 2012 Games,, date accessed 11 November 2013.
  10. DCMS (2010) Plans for the Legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,, date accessed 11 November 2013.Google Scholar
  11. DCMS (2013) Report 5: Post-Games Evaluation: Meta-evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Summary Report,, date accessed 22 October 2013.Google Scholar
  12. Dixon, K. and Flynn, D. (2008) Consuming “Celebrated Athletes”-An Investigation of Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies, 2(1), 3–28.Google Scholar
  13. Faucette, N., Nugent, P., Sallis, J. and McKenzie, T. (2002) I’d Rather Chew on Aluminium Foil: Overcoming Classroom Teachers’ Resistance to Teaching Physical Education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 8(3), 3–308.Google Scholar
  14. Girginov, V. and Hills, L. (2008) A Sustainable Sports Legacy: Creating a Link Between the London Olympics and Sports Participation. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 25(14), 3–2116.Google Scholar
  15. Gold, J.R. and Gold, M.M. (2007) Access for All: The Rise of the Paralympic Games. The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 127(3), 133–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gratton, C. and Henry, I. (2001) Sport in the City. Where Do We Go From Here? In C. Gratton and I. Henry (eds) Sport in the City. London, Routledge, 309–314.Google Scholar
  17. Gratton, C., Shibli, S. and Coleman, R. (2006) The Economic Impact of Major Sports Events: A Review of Ten Events in the UK. In J. Horne and W. Manzenreiter (eds) Sports Mega-Events: Social Scientific Analysis of a Global Phenomenon. Oxford, Blackwell, 41–58.Google Scholar
  18. Griggs, G. (2007) Physical Education: Primary Matters, Secondary Importance. Education, 35(1), 3–69.Google Scholar
  19. Hardin, M.M. and Hardin, B. (2004) The “Supercrip” in Sport Media: Wheelchair Athletes Discuss Hegemony’s Disabled Hero. Sociology of Sport Online, 7 (1),, date accessed 2 July 2013.
  20. Horne, J. (2007) The Four “Knowns” of Sports Mega-Events. Leisure Studies, 26(1), 3–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Horne, J. (2012) The Four “Cs” of Sports Mega-Events. In G. Hayes and J. Karamichas (eds) Olympic Games, Mega-Events and Civil Societies: Globalisation, Environment, Resistance. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 31–45.Google Scholar
  22. House of Commons (2006) “UK Sport: Supporting Elite Athletes” Committee of Public Accounts Fifty-fourth Report of Session 2005–2006 July HC898.Google Scholar
  23. House of Commons (2013) School Sport Following London 2012: No More Political Football: Third Report of Session 2013–2014. Volume 1: Report, Together with Formal Minutes July HC16-1.Google Scholar
  24. House of Lords (2013) Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, First Report: Keeping the Flame Alive: The Olympic and Paralympic Legacy,, date accessed 15 January 2014.
  25. Howe, P.D. (2011) Cyborg and Supercrip: The Paralympics Technology and (Dis)Empowerment of Disabled Athletes. Sociology, 45, 868–882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kirkup, N. and Major, B. (2006) The Reliability of Economic Impact Studies of the Olympic Games: A Post-Games Study of Sydney 2000 and Considerations for London 2012. Journal of Sport Tourism, 11 (3-4), 275–296.Google Scholar
  27. Kornblatt, T. (2006) Setting the Bar. Preparing for London’s Olympic Legacy. Centre for Cities, Institute for Public Policy Research, Discussion Paper No. 8. December,, date accessed 2 December 2013.
  28. Lindsay, I. (2013) Tackling the Dangers of Inactivity Through Sport. International Centre for Sport Security Journal, 1(4), 3–101.Google Scholar
  29. Mahtani, K.R., Protheroe, J., Slight, S.P., Demarzo, M.M.P., Blakeman, T., Barton, C.A., Brijnath, B. and Roberts, N. (2013) Can the London Olympics “Inspire a Generation” to do More Physical or Sporting Activities? An Overview of Systematic Reviews. BMJ, 3 (1),, date accessed 2 December 2013.
  30. Matheson, V. (2002) Upon Further Review: An Examination of Sporting Event Economic Impact Studies. The Sport Journal, 5 (1),, date accessed 2 December 2013.
  31. Matheson, V. and Baade, R. (2003) Mega-Sporting Events in Developing Nations: Playing the Way to Prosperity? Working Papers 0404, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics,, date accessed 2 December 2013.
  32. McCartney, G., Thomas, S., Thomson, H., Scott, J., Hamilton, V., Hanlon, P., Morrison, D.S. and Bond, L. (2010) The Health and Socioeconomic Impacts of Major Multi-sport Events: Systematic Review (1978–2008). BMJ, 340, c2369.Google Scholar
  33. Minnaert, L. (2012) An Olympic Legacy for All? The Non-infrastructural Outcomes of the Olympic Games for Socially Excluded Groups (Atlanta 1996–Beijing 2008). Tourism Management, 33, 361–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Monbiot, G. (2007) Someone Else’s Legacy. Originally Published in The Guardian 12 June 2007,, date accessed 12 January 2014.
  35. Office for National Statistics (2013) Travel Trends 2012: Key Findings,—2012.html, date accessed 2 December 2013.
  36. Peers, D. (2009) (Dis)Empowering Paralympic Histories: Absent Athletes and Disabling Discourses. Disability & Society, 24(5), 3–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Poynter, G. (2006) From Beijing to Bow Bells: Measuring the Olympic Effect. London East Research Institute, Working Papers in Urban Studies, University of East London,, date accessed 2 December 2013.
  38. Preuss, H. (2007) The Conceptualization and Measurement of Mega Sport Event Legacies. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 12, 207–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rogge, J. (2012) International Olympic Committee Marketing Report: London 2012,, date accessed 14 January 2014.
  40. Shipway, R. (2007) Sustainable Legacies for the 2012 Olympic Games. The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 127(3), 3–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Smith, A. and Stevenson, N. (2009) A Review of Tourism Policy for the 2012 Olympics. Cultural Trends, 18(1), 3–102. SQW/Mayor of London (2013) Olympic Jobs Evaluation: Final Report,, date accessed 13 February 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Taylor, M. and Edmondson, I. (2007) Major Sporting Events-Planning for Legacy. Municipal Engineer, 160 (ME4), 171–176.Google Scholar
  43. UK Sport (2014) Investment Principles,, date accessed 2 February 2014.
  44. Weed, M. (2014) London 2012 Legacy Strategy: Did it Deliver? In V. Girginov (ed.) Handbook of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Volume Two. London, Routledge, 281–294.Google Scholar
  45. Weed, M., Coren, E., Fiore, J., Wellard, I., Mansfield, L., Chatziefstathiou, D. and Dowse, S. (2012) Developing a Physical Activity Legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: A Policy-Led Systematic Review. Perspectives in Public Health, 132(2), 3–80.Google Scholar
  46. Weed, M. (2013) London 2012 Legacy Strategy: Ambitions, Promises and Implementation Plans. In V. Girginov (ed.) Handbook of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Volume One. London, Routledge, 87–98.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mike McGuinness 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike McGuinness

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations