Despite a electric and heart pulsing summer of sport in Great Britain, i'm looking to answer and debate about the ever elusive question of will we/do we have a lasting legacy from the 2012 games.
More than two-thirds of the UK public believe the £8.77bn cost of the London 2012 Olympics was worth the money, according to a ComRes poll for the (BBC).

The decision to stage the Olympics, at a public cost of £8.7bn, was  justified as a way of bringing jobs and economic growth to some of London’s poorest communities, locked in post-industrial decline and plagued by high unemployment. It also gave a country huge amounts of up lift and joy over the period the games were held. There is no question that the London games were and can be deemed, a huge success. But something that was continually talked about, was what effect will the games of on Britain after the final closing ceremony. The talks of a lasting legacy?

The anniversary games seemed to bring back so many good memories this weekend. Whatever your favourite moment was of the games, everyone had one. Whether it was poster girl Jessica Ennis winning gold, Bradely Wiggins smashing the time trial to take gold or the Brownlee brothers fighting with Gomez for the 1, 2 in Hyde park. Among the favourites for gold we also had so many suprise victories that captured a nation. Over the duration of the games Great Britain and Northern Ireland received, 65 medals; 29 of them gold. Even before the curtain had come down on the Olympics, the government had promised to boost its investment in the next Olympic cycle by 11%, to £355m, to ensure our transformation from plucky losers to driven winners was sustained. This therefore looks good for sport at Elite level within our country.

But while the park’s phased reopening has been lauded as a demonstration of legacy planning and execution, there is consensus that such changes will be measured over decades, not years. Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Legacy is a long-term programme and we’re still in the foothills of it. You’re only really going to be able to judge that over 10 years or more.” We will therefore have to look at what the games have done to inspire the next generations not in 2016 but the 2020 games. We will be able to hopefully see athletes that were inspired by the performances of a home games. Not to forget the legacy wasn't all about sport. The government don't spend 8.7 billion pounds just to win medals. They bid for the Olympics to put their country in the shop window, to sell Great Britain. They certainly did this very well, both the opening and closing ceremonies not seeming to focus on a predecessors games, but to have our own British comic value and we really made our mark. 

When a public survey was taken for the games by the BBC, It indicates 74% would also welcome the Games back to Britain. That is a very large majority of people that seem to justify the cost of the games, they believe it was for the good of the country. The results suggest people are more active since the Olympics, with 11% exercising more than a year ago, rising to 24% for those aged 18 to 24. Despite early reports from sport England Participation figures published today by Sport England suggesting that nearly a year on from the golden glow of the Games, 20 out of 29 sports recorded a fall in the number of adults taking part between April 2012 and April 2013. Furthermore overall the numbers of people exercising for 30 minutes once a week fell by 100,000 to 15.3 million over the same period, or by an even greater margin of 200,000 since October. The number of those exercising three times a week also fell (The Independent). Both very contrasting evidence and without looking deep into the research it is hard to see which one is correct, I will have to leave that to you!

The London showpiece, together with the Paralympics, cost more than three times the original budget of £2.4bn. However it has shown that recent government research suggests the UK economy received a £9.9bn boost in trade and investment from staging the Games. A year on from the start of London 2012, the survey of 3,218 adults, conducted by ComRes for the BBC brought some very positive stats. 
It found 
that, of those polled:
  • 11% said they are more active as a result of the Games;
  • 32% said the Games had a positive impact on sports facilities;
  • 22% said the Games had improved their local economy;
  • 21% said the Games had resulted in improved public services.


A change of round 20% average would normally be seen as quite a positive and large change, therefore you have to look at the stats and say, that the Olympics really did have a positive impact. However I do sometimes look at stats like this and think, is that really enough? When looking at the picture below ( I know some of you may prefer pictures to words) there is a little bit too much blue for my liking- representing no change. 

A quote from Liz Nicholl (Cheif executive of UK sport)  "During the Games, it was a unique opportunity for the whole nation to see elite sport, to value it, to be proud of it, to feel it, to experience it and be inspired by it. And our politicians were there, and they saw it and they felt it. They saw the nation was proud, and that a proud nation is a happy nation," she says.
Elsewhere, legacy remains in the eye of the beholder. Look left as you come out of Stratford tube station and you'll see the Westfield shopping centre, which acts as the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, attracting more than 700,000 visitors a week and employing thousands of locals. The benefits do seem to be affecting and making positive impacts. The olympic park is now having housing on it and many of the stadiums are being recently open as public sport centres. This is something many countries had got wrong in the past, travel to Rome and Barcelona and see deserted olympic venues. 

We seem to have got a lot right, but the question of an Olympic legacy doesn't look as though it can be completely answered until many years to come. So I guess we shall just have to wait and see. But for now enjoy the ride because that was one incredible summer!

Ciaran 



http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/jul/26/one-year-on-olympic-legacy
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/15686f24-f47f-11e2-a62e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2aWDrmd2O
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/23467773

 





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