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January 5, 2011

This post is mostly for the Social Media Journalists (in capital letters in my links) in A New Direction’s Headstart programme. They are investigating the Olympic legacy: check out Young Londoner’s interview with two Senior Olympic Ambassadors here.

You will often hear people talking about the Olympic ‘legacy’. Sometimes you will hear people talking about a ‘sustainable’ Olympic legacy. These terms tend to mean different things to different people. If you asked an environmentalist, an artist and a job centre manager what a sustainable legacy is for London’s Olympics they would probably all give you a different answer. I know – I did a whole report about this once. The only thing that people will agree on is that ‘legacy’ is what comes after the games. And ‘sustainable’ means it will last. There’s nothing wrong with this it’s just that… there isn’t space for everyone to have their own legacies.

At the moment both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are assembling competing applications to take over the Olympic stadium – Spurs argue that they will run the stadium as an effective business, West Ham say that they will preserve the stadium as an athletics venue and make it more usable for different groups of people in East London. Both sides claim to present ‘sustainable legacies’ – but their visions for the stadium are very different – for starters Tottenham would begin their plan by tearing the existing stadium down and building a new one!

I do have my own opinion, but there are no right or wrong answers as to what a sustainable legacy is. You need to decide that yourself. You will find it easier if you constantly force yourself to answer hard questions. What will the Olympics change? Who will the change be for? Is that change good?

Here are some ways you could look at it – i’ve added some links to other posts if you need some pointers.

What story will the Olympics tell about London?

What are artists saying about the London Olympics in their work?

How does the Olympics celebrate beauty in films, ceremonies, photography and design? Is it good?

Will the Olympics stop war?

Are sponsors helping an Olympic legacy, or hindering it?

What new things are being built in London because the Olympics is happening? Who are they for?

How will the Olympics change where people go in London?

What will London be like in 20 years time?

How do people in other cities remember their Olympics?

Where do all the clothes, building materials and sporting equipment come from? Do they have their own story?

Do different cultural groups in London see the games in different ways?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2011 12:48 pm

    very interesting. This has given me more areas to think about when interviewing and blogging.


  1. BIGLOP’s inspirational post | The Young Londoner

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