The Legacy of the Olympic Games: A Viewers Perspective of Olympic Games Legacies


  • Kostas Karadakis Southern New Hampshire University
  • Trevor Bopp University of Florida
  • Megan T. Gassman Southern New Hampshire University


Sports, Legacies, Media, Consumers


The awarding of the Olympic Games to a host city often results in increased media attention. The increased media attention can help to maintain the temporal aspect of legacies from viewers and consumers of the Olympic Games. With increased viewing and consumption mediums, the opportunity to develop and capitalize on an event’s potential legacy within the mind of non-attendees exists. The term ‘event legacies’ has gained traction in recent years, however there is a lack of literature examining legacy perceptions from a temporal and proximity perspective. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of dominant legacy themes of both viewers and consumers of the Olympic Games, subsequently contributing to the lack of research examining Legacy perceptions from a temporal and proximity perspective. The dominant legacy themes identified by viewers of the Olympic Games in the current study were Event Prestige/History, Economic, Sport, Psychological, Organizational, Environmental, Socio-cultural, Tourism, and Athletes. Athletes was a new category identified in the current study and demonstrates the potential for individual athletes and endorsers/sponsors to capitalize on participants of the Games. By gaining a better understanding of how viewers’ perceive legacies, event organizers can focus attention on promoting these dominant legacy themes.