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Olympic legacy has become a dominant theme within the Olympic Movement. For decades, legacy concerns were confined to the hosting of the Olympic Games. However, these concerns have been recently extended to the bidding process itself. Cities bidding for the Olympic Games are now required to identify their legacy regardless of the outcome of their bids. This paper explores the merits of extending legacy discourse in case bids failed. It contends that the extension of legacy discourse into failed bids, at least as typically articulated in Olympic circles, is problematic. It also contends that failed bids should be seen themselves as a form of legacy worth recognizing and protecting.


Paper written in the framework of the IOC’s OSC Postgraduate Grant Selection Committee (2011 meeting)