A Lasting Legacy
Our World | On 26, Apr 2012
Whilst measuring an accurate ROI on the Olympics isn’t possible just yet much has already been achieved since July 2005 when London was awarded the Games.
Firstly the combination of UK expertise and the halo effect of winning the games has ensured successful bids for many other sporting tournaments including the IAAF Athletics, Cricket, Rugby Union and Rugby League. Not only will this make us the destination for Global sporting excellence for the rest of the decade but many of these events will be hosted outside of London and so giving direct benefit to the rest of the country. In addition many of the 70,000 Olympic volunteers live outside the capital therefore spreading the work experience value of the biggest event on earth across the length and breadth of the country.
Secondly, our infrastructure has and continues to improve. As a Londoner I put up with closed tube lines and road works however the speed in which you can now cross London and travel around the country has improved to ensure we can transport huge numbers of people, quickly and reasonably efficiently. Travel tickets costs are still higher than most of us would like but service is better and overseas visitors enjoy travelling on our system now, which was previously unheard of!
Thirdly, whilst the numbers for the Olympics are staggering – 17,000 athletes from 205 countries with 10.5 million tickets, this is not just a sporting event. The London festival will be the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad with over 1,000 events featuring art, dance, film and music being held across the UK between 21st June – 9th September; It will be an incredible showcase of not just our cultural heritage but also the modern diversity of our nation. Tickets are on sale now so have a browse.
A key factor in winning the 2012 Games was due to the vision of London to have a legacy for the games, not just two weeks of sport. E20 is the new postcode for the Olympic Park where the athletes village will be transformed into housing for key workers, transport links improved even further, stadiums scaled down to sustainable size’s for local clubs and a park to include a wildlife habitat in the heart of the city. The regeneration of East London will continue.
The President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, had already said that London had ‘raised the bar on how to deliver a lasting legacy, and set out a blueprint for future host cities to aspire.’ Unusual praise three months before the event has even happened!