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Conceptualizing Olympic Legacy: The Case of Vancouver 2010 Open Access


Other title
Mega sport event
Tourism Legacy
Event Levergaing
Olympic bid
Vancouver 2010
Destination Marketing Organizations
Olympic Legacy
Event Legacy
Olympic Games
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sant, Stacy-Lynn R
Supervisor and department
Mason, Daniel S. (Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation)
Hinch, Tom (Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Foster, William (Augustana Campus, University of Alberta- Management)
Washington, Marvin (Alberta School of Business)
Chalip, Laurence (Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This study explored the conceptualization of Olympic legacy in Vancouver— host of the XXI Winter Olympic Games. More specifically, this project examined event proponents’ views on legacy at the time of the Olympic bid. A media frames analysis of local mainstream newspapers in Vancouver was conducted to ascertain how bid proponents constructed arguments to articulate the benefits of bidding for and hosting the 2010 Games. Findings showed that pro-bid arguments were framed around non-sport infrastructure, economic, and social legacies. These legacy frames provided a particular viewpoint of how legacy was presented and strategically used by bid proponents. Considering that the Olympic Games are increasingly positioned as tourism mega-events, this study also explored how destination marketers’ perspectives on the notion of legacy influenced the design, implementation, and management of event leveraging strategies. Results showed that destination marketers’ perspectives on legacy varied depending on their organizations’ mandates as well as the aspirations of their destination. In addition, the desire to plan for and generate long-term tourism legacies (and by extension economic legacies) fostered a collaborative approach to the development of leveraging strategies for the host city, region, and country. Due to a lack of empirical research on longer-term economic leveraging, the process of maximizing the benefits of hosting is largely shaped by practice. This gap in the literature was addressed by examining and evaluating the existing empirical studies on event leverage. Three areas of research were highlighted for scholars interested in exploring long-term economic event leveraging: i) collaboration of event stakeholders; ii) creation or appointment of co-ordinating organizations; and iii) leveraging mega events as part of a destination’s event portfolio.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Sant, S-L., & Mason, D.S. (2015). Framing Event Legacy in a Prospective Host City: Managing Vancouver’s Olympic Bid. Journal of Sport Management, 29(1), 42-56.Sant, S-L., Mason, D.S., & Hinch, T.D. (2013). Conceptualising Olympic tourism legacy: Destination marketing organisations and Vancouver 2010. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 18(4), 287-312.

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