chapter  8
Beijing Olympics Legacies: Certain Intentions and Certain and Uncertain Outcomes
ByDong Jinxia, J. A. Mangan
Pages 22

Recent host cities to the Olympic Games have left legacies with both intended and

unintended consequences. To concentrate on the positive: the 1956 Melbourne games, for example, introduced the now standard practice in the closing ceremony of

athletes entering the stadium in mixed parties; satellite and colour TV coverage, now normal, were first introduced in the 1964 Tokyo games; the 1984 Los Angles games made private sponsorship and marketing a common practice; the 1988 Seoul games

had, inter alia, twin legacies: South Korean economic and political advance; the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney games and the 2004 Athens games

metonymically raised the bar for ceremonial spectaculars – and so on. [1] Beijing will be no different in some ways but very different in others. The 2008

games, arguably, will prove both unexceptional and exceptional in the creation of Olympic legacies. However, one thing is certain, that, as Jacques Rogge, the present

president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presciently, and perhaps with unconscious irony, announced at the one-year countdown celebration in

Beijing earlier this year, ‘The staging of the Olympic Games will leave people a legacy of

far-reaching influence’ [italics mine]. [2] In fact, Beijing will leave multiple legacies rather than just the singular legacy Rogge mentioned. What are the intended legacies

of Beijing 2008 and what could be the consequences both intended and unintended? These are the questions that intrigue people both in China and around the world.

This brief discussion, inter alia in a review, partially, but not exclusively, of the stated Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympics Games (BOCOG) policies, their

implementation and their putative possibilities for Chinese and the global society, seeks to chart the potential social, economic and political impact on Beijing and

China and, indeed, the world, of hosting the world’s largest sports event, and to reflect upon some of the intangible and tangible legacies that Beijing 2008 could bequeath to the host city, the host nation and the international community.