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The Perceived Sustainability of Sports and Social Legacy Goals of Beijing Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games

Charlie Song

Abstract: Inspired by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Legacy Strategic Approach, Beijing 2022 issued the Legacy Plan of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as a continuing effort from the 2008 Beijing Olympics “to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities, regions and countries” (IOC, 2020). Using a qualitative approach guided by Asper’s (2009) empirical phenomenology and Alase’s (2017) interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), the author interviewed the Olympic officials in legacy planning for the 2008 Summer Games and/or the 2022 Winter Games, the scholars in Olympic studies, and a journalist reporting the Olympic legacy related news in Beijing. The narratives presented the interviewees’ positive experiences and perceptions in most of the sustainability inquiries of the “soft” legacy goals. The results revealed that the Olympic and Paralympic ideals had been well appreciated by the mass public since Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games and the sports and social legacies from the Games had been carried forward to Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. At the same time, a gap existed between urban and rural, especially on the sustainability of the legacy goals concerning people with disabilities.
Keywords: Beijing / Games / legacy / Winter / Summer / Olympic and Paralympic / Sports and Social

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