New book questions legacy of London 2012
In his book, ‘The London Olympics of 2012: Politics, Promises and Legacy’, Stephen Wagg, Professor of Sport at Leeds Beckett, explores who the real winners and losers were of this seminal event, and asks if the Games succeeded in creating the lasting legacy that it was claimed they would.
Author of several books and BBC Radio Five live documentaries concerning the politics of sport, Professor Wagg said: “I thought it important to ask such questions about London 2012 because, as so often, the main mass media concentrated only on the promotion of the Games and on the sporting spectacle. There is a big downside to the contemporary Olympic Games and problems have been growing since the 1980s. Many scholars now have monitored these problems. I'm just one of them.”
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, the book offers a compelling exposé of the politics which underpinned the London 2012 Olympics; from the bid phase to post-event. Founded largely on research culled from material printed by the liberal media (newspapers such as the Guardian and the Independent and various websites), Professor Wagg explained: “The liberal media covered the political issues behind the Games - the mainstream media, including the BBC who were the Official Olympic Broadcaster, largely ignored these issues.
“As pointed out by Sir Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, outside of the competitors, the winners at London 2012 were the same as for all recent Games: the building and security industries and the property developers. The losers were the people who lived in and around the Lower Lea Valley, who lost their homes, businesses and open spaces. Contrary to promises made before the Olympics, the Games brought no significant benefits to ordinary East Enders. After the Games the Olympic Park became a private estate, occupied principally by IT companies and expensive housing. The other key legacy promise - that the Games would 'inspire a generation' of young sportspeople - was soon forgotten: the government cut financial support for sports coaching in schools straight after the Games.”
As Rio 2016 fast approaches, Professor Wagg added: “The International Olympic Committee (IOC), like FIFA, is now hugely entangled with big business. Rio won't be 'fairer'. There have been big protests in Brazil over the massive public expenditure on the Olympics and the World Cup and these protests will continue.”
A trained sociologist, Professor Wagg has taught sociology for over 30 years. For much of this time he has become increasingly interested in history and politics, particularly when applied to sport. In addition, Professor Wagg has written about childhood, comedy and the media.
Palgrave Macmillan are offering a 30% discount on this title when ordering directly from the publisher. To redeem visit http://www.palgrave.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting PM15THIRTY. Offer is valid until 31st December 2015. (Terms and conditions can be found online at www.palgrave.com/discount-terms).