Selectivity in evaluating the impacts of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Dr. Eleni Theodoraki • Many single aspect impact studies • Multidimensionality of concept of impact • IOC as ultimate franchiser • Current focus of event impact on environment of franchisee The lists of factors that can be evaluated is endless and includes dimensions such as: environmental impact, opportunity costs, job creation, effects of traffic, city marketing, etc. Therefore, any research into the effects which events have must be customised to suit the objectives of those who require specific information (UKSport, 1999; p. 4). Masks for role playing Pre Games For Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic spirit and the Olympic idea, the Athens Games will be a matter of supreme national and cultural significance (Athens Bid Committee, 1996 p. 20). Pre Games The Athens 2004 Olympic Games will leave a legacy to Athens, the Greece and to the world, that will remain for generations to come. For the people of Greece, the legacy will begin with the economic benefits of investing in upgrades to the transportation infrastructure, telecommunications system, and the environment (ATHENS 2004, 2000). Post Games Opinion poll 1 The survey of success and benefits focussed on whether the success of the Olympic Games enhanced the position of Greece in the international scene and whether people felt that the successful organisation was of benefit to the country Figure 1 The Image of the 2004 Olympic Games Average rating of emotions on a 0-100 scale International Olympic Committee & Olympic Games in Greece 100 90 80 70 60 IOC 50 OG 40 30 20 10 0 2001 2002 2003 May-04 Jun-04 Sep-04 Source: MRB –VPRC (2004) Figure 2 The Image of the 2004 Olympic Games Compared to one year ago, what happened to the position of Greece in the international scene? Unchanged Weakened Strengthened Do not know Source: MRB –VPRC (2004) Post Games opinion poll 2 • Perceptions of Greece and role/success of the Olympic Games held by people in the USA, Spain, Germany, France and the UK Figure 3 To what degree is Greece a country for which you feel positive? Scale 1-7 1=Not feel positive at all 7=Feel very positive Comparable results on research before and after Olympic Games 100% 90% 80% 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 6,7 70% 60% 50% 40% 3,4,5 3,4,5 30% 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 3,4,5 20% 10% 1,2 0% 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 1,2 Be OG G G Be OG Be OG G Be OG G G G Be OG er K A OG O op re O SA e O rO eO O r re op fter r r an fter re an ore fte fte r fte fte Sp for fo fo fo fo f A A A Fr n A A Be e y ce an y e SA ai ce n K U ai U U ur an m U Sp Fr ur m er lE lE G Source: MRB –VPRC (2004b) ta G ta To To Discussion • Lack of holistic approach, bias and selectivity in evaluation of impact by ATHENS 2004 • Impact reports as communication exercises of a self producing Olympic system • Positive image of Olympism reinforces perceptions of positive games impact A blind love affair with the Games Conclusion • Multidimensionality of concept of impact • Subjective rationality in Games rationale • Completion of long-needed infrastructure projects • Unknown opportunity costs • Meeting legacy requirements versus games requirements Impact studies as pieces of a puzzle What does a viewpoint allow you to see?