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5 months ago

Reviving the Flame

Travail de Master de Tiffany Duc

1. Introduction For

1. Introduction For years, the Olympic Games have grown bigger and bigger. They shifted away from their prime purpose of peace, cultural exchanges, and sport, to a branded mega-organisation, unveiling doping scandals and corruption. Negative aspects are manifold and lead to mistrust and aversion from the public. Sportsmanship, fair play, and unity… The Olympic Values seems to be gone already. Concerned by this growing abhorrence for the Games, the IOC decided to run back to its prime purpose. Their answer: The Agenda 20 20, a set of recommendations set to revive their values, ethic, and accessibility. But can it work and bring the Games back into their glorious era? The bet seems to be already lost. Suspicion is on all lips and referendums are rejecting candidacies successively. While the Summer Games 2024 and 2028 fortunately found two candidates, Paris and Los Angeles, the Winter Games 2026 is in the hot seat. In this period of doubt and uncertainty, there are still diehards’ cities, ready to become hosts and organisers to renewed Games. Today, Sion is one of the few potential candidates left for the Olympic Winter Games 2026. With a country that needs to rejuvenate its tourism strategy, a winter tourism on the decline, and a population decided to shift toward a more sustainable lifestyle, Sion 2026 is at the heart of all debates. Swiss folks do not want to invest for the Games, they are not keen on seeing white elephants in their cities and fear cost overruns reverberating on their every-day life. In this challenging context, this study aims at proposing a different viewpoint than the economic and tangible concerns. To do so, the research question focuses on determining what legacies can be leveraged and achieved through a human size Olympic Winter Games to benefit both the destination and local population. To answer this interrogation, the research focuses on explaining what legacies are and the idea of leverage that can be used to achieve them. Based on the study case of Sion 2026, this work gives insights on what heritages are desired by the Organising Committee and researched through interviews if these are realistic and how they can be attained. In the following pages, the reader will be first introduced to the existing researches on the Olympic Games, the legacies stemming from the event, and leveraging theories. This background leads to the present research goal and question. Later, the context for this study is set by analysing the country it takes place in, the IOC and their Agenda 20 20, as well as the current bid for Sion 2026. Then, the stage is given to the findings unveiled through the interviews with key stakeholders, which leads the author to propose specific recommendations and two examples on how to leverage legacies. Introduction 1

2. Methodology This chapter presents the different strategies and methods used to conduct the research. It allows the reader to better understand the planning and processes undertaken to gather information and data, that allowed the author to formulate recommendation for stakeholders. 2.1. Topic Selection The choice of the Olympic Winter Games (OWG) 2026 was decided following various suggestion in different domains. The author’s interest originates in her enticement for winter sports. Being a ski teacher herself, and having achieved her tourism bachelor in health and sport, the case study also showcases her native town and its related context and trends, bringing further appeal to study this topic. Lastly, “Sion 2026” is a capital project for the city’s positioning as an international winter destination, and studying its potential can bring professional benefits to the writer in the future. 2.2. Context This research can be defined as “ex ante” given that the case study has not taken place yet. Based on the literature review and various readings, it can be deducted that processes and happenings before the host city’s election is usually not studied. In this context, to improve documentation on the organisation and management of the OG, this study concentrates on finding information and data to better understand what leverages are and can be organised during the candidacy stage to foster and achieve desired legacies. Thus, this piece was realised in a progressive context, with constant changes and new information from medias and public opinions. 2.3. Research Strategies Firstly, online and library researches were undertaken to gather general information related to the topic. The focus was given to the Olympic Games and the IOC to get a good grasp of their importance as mega event and international organisation. The notion of “Sport Mega Event” emerged, which emphasize the impact of the OG as well as FIFA World Cup or Commonwealth Games on the international scene as sport events. Alongside, the author collected in a table the different arguments in favour and against the OG, to facilitate the readers’ overview of the international Olympic Games debate. This ground knowledge, highlighted more specific key concepts for the topic: the “legacies” and “leverage”. To define and offer the best understanding of these matters, further documentation was researched and read, to emphasize several principles linked to these notions (i.e. economy, social, technology, etc.). Methodology 2