8 months ago

Reviving the Flame

Travail de Master de Tiffany Duc

Economy & Infrastructure

Economy & Infrastructure Table 1 Arguments For and Against the Games + - o New or improved sport/recreational o White Elephant = unused/underused infrastructure, boost unfinished projects facilities (become financial burden) o Urban regeneration/makeover o Temporary (could reduce long-term costs) o New inward/city investments vs. Permanent infrastructure (could become o Development/use of high technology a white elephant) o Increased tourism; decreased seasonality o Anti-democratic elements: fast-tracked o More employment & sales, business projects, initiatives; ignored procedures opportunities o Cost overrun, debts: additional costs after o Programmes & Policies development (new the Games, opportunity costs, risks of and enhanced workforce skills) collusion on projects Image & Marketing Social Environment o Showcase & enhance destination’s image (unity, coherence) o Programmes & Policies development: sport promotion among population & youth o Rediscovering, strengthening culture & heritage; Cultural understanding between locals & tourists o Psychic income: community spirit, national/regional pride, feel good factor, emotional attachment, renewed civic moral o Programmes & Policies development: Volunteer training, enhanced workforce skills, education, caring for disabled o Rediscovering, strengthening cultural & regional culture & heritage; Cultural understanding between locals & tourists o More employment, business opportunities o New, more recreational activities (culture, sport, shopping) o Environmental awareness, consciousness o Programmes & Policies development o High technologies toward sustainability o Reinforce negative perception the organisation was trying to reverse; branding benefits are likely to be small; increased scandals o Empowered activists thanks to international media attention o Local & marginalised people may feel excluded from the event benefits: housing issues; relocation/displacement; eviction from land; disruption, incursion of lives; sanitisation of cities from beggars o Disproportionate share of the financial, social burden o Strenuous use of local resources: funds may be diverted from primary use; escalating costs fall on taxpayer money o Fail to adhere to international standards: human, labour and gender equality rights; anti-democratic processes o Overcrowding o Strenuous use of local resources = environmental footprint o Affect local, regional, national and/or global environment Source: Author’s table from various sources (Agha & al., 2012; Cashman, 2003; Chalip, 2014; Leopkey & Parent, 2012; Smith & Fox, 2007) Literature Review 7

The table presents a few more positives outcomes. However, negative effects related to economic and social issues often outweigh the enthusiasm of the coalition of beneficiaries. Indeed, the public is a key stakeholder to host the OG, and these past years, various cities abandoned their bid for two main reasons: lack of political support (Rome 2020, and Stockholm 2022), and public referendum (Graubünden 2022 & 2026, Krakow 2022, Munich 2022, Vienna 2024, and Innsbruck 2026) (Preuss, 2015; RTS, 2017). To attract aspirants, the IOC has probably relied too heavily on its charter’s Rule 2, Article 14: “to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries;”. Indeed, the term legacy presents positive effects of long duration, while, for example, impacts would suggest negative consequences (IOC, 2015). This choice of wording is capital for three reasons: positive heritage is an evidence of prosperity; it defends the investment of public money; and it encourages cities to bid (Mangan, 2008). In other words, these legacies bring enough positive influence for people to support the hosting of the Games. But this good influence seems to be over, and a crucial word here is gigantism. If we compare, the first edition of the OG in Athens welcomed 241 athletes from 14 countries, while the last Olympiad in Rio received 11,238 sportspeople from 207 nations (IOC, 2017). These number and their international feature are typical of “mega-events”, that are described as “(…) large-scale cultural (including commercial and sporting) events, which have a dramatic character, mass popular appeal and international significance. (…) organised by variable combinations of national governmental and international non-governmental organisations” (Roche, 2000, p. 1). Today, the OG are presented as one of the most significant Sport Mega- Event (O'Reilly, et al., 2016). The information above emphasized the critical path the IOC is heading on today: it faces the same challenge that followed Montreal 1976: the absence of candidates. As an example, the election for Summer Games (SG) 2024 only had two participants: Paris and Los Angeles, who found an agreement together, where Paris will organise the OG in 2024, and Los Angeles in 2028 (RTS, 2017). Based on these issues, this research proposes to study the case of the Sion 2026’s candidacy, in Switzerland. The ongoing bid is strongly dividing the Swiss population, which may lead to a national referendum. Therefore, Sion 2026 is threatened to follow Stockholm and Innsbruck who terminated their candidacy. It is of interest to bring forward what positive heritages can result from the Olympic Winter Games (OWG), by highlighting the use of the Agenda 20 20. To do so, the concept of legacy is critical for people to understand the long-term benefits sustainable Games can offer. Yet, what makes the word legacy so special, is that it remains “remarkably unclear” (Grix, Brannagan, Wood, & Wynne, 2017, p. 204). In 2002, it was even questioned by the conference on the legacy of the Olympic Games in Lausanne, whether to keep using legacy or replace it with a more precise term like outcomes (Cashman, 2003). Literature Review 8