Social Movements Against Bidding For Sports Mega Events

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Social Movements against Bidding for Sport Mega-events: A Case Study of the 2024 Summer Olympics

Governments currently show great interest in sport mega-events investment since that they may have the opportunity to stimulate economic development, create international image and prestige, generate a ‘feel-good’ factor among citizens and inspire grassroots participation (Grix and Carmichael, 2012). Moreover, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) states that their critical mission is ‘to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host countries’ (International Olympic Committee, 2007, p.15), although legacy is hard to define or measure and could be both positive and negative in practice (Agha, et al. 2012). In particular, emerging states like China, South Africa and Brazil have managed to bid for the Olympics or the World Cup. The use of hosting sport mega-events to enhance their soft power and achieve equal positions in global affairs has been highlighted in recent years (Grix and Lee, 2013).

However, the effect of sport mega-events has been challenged, questioning whether to host these events or not (Lauermann, 2015). As Chalip points out, host countries may fail to make preparations for the staging of sport mega-events and encounter the risk of soft disempowerment. Meanwhile, anti-Olympics social campaigns have arisen in many advanced capitalist countries. Consequently, they have had a considerable influence on the bids for sport mega-events

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