New research to be conducted into the legacy of the Youth Olympic Games

6 October 2017

New research is about to be undertaken to provide a better understanding of how residents in host cities perceive the impact and legacy of new mega sporting events, such as the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), have upon their quality of life.

Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou is an international expert in Olympic Studies and Reader in the School of Human and Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University. Together with Dr Kyriaki Kaplanidou from the University of Florida, they have been awarded a prestigious Advanced Olympic Research Grant from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to produce the first ever study into the socio-cultural impact of YOG.

There has been much interest and research looking into the impact of mega sporting events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, and how they can positively influence the uptake of sport or increase the physical activity of the people who live in the host cities and countries. However, new mega events, such as YOG, which was primarily designed to focus on health and obesity issues among the youth have yet to be assessed for their ability to help change perceptions on quality of life.

Dr Chatziefstathiou explained: “Recent studies have shown that there are correlations between various types of mega sport events and their impact on residents' quality of life. Specifically, social impacts with cultural and educational elements have been quite important in improving quality of life perceptions.

“However, the correlation between the goals of the Youth Olympic Games to enhance quality of life via sport, culture and education and specifically the importance of the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect for quality of life improvements have yet to be examined.

“This study will examine the relationships between perceived and realised event impacts and legacies and quality of life aspects among residents of countries who have hosted the YOG or are planning to host the event. It will take into consideration people's involvement with sport and the importance of the Olympic values.

“Although city residents may not be the young people who participate in the event, they can certainly assess how such events influence their quality of life and whether being part of sports in general creates more positive dispositions and support event legacy plans. It is hoped that by identifying how personal factors such as the level of involvement with sport and/or physical activity, as well as the importance of the Olympic values influence event-related outcomes we will be able to assist the IOC with targeting specific groups of people to achieve the best outcome related to implementation of the legacy plan of the event.”

The research project, The perceived and realised impacts of Youth Olympic Games: the cases of Lillehammer and Lausanne, will take one year to complete and will look at the opportunities and challenges associated with the event as experienced through the residents of a future host country, Switzerland/Lausanne, and the residents of a past host country, Norway/Lillehammer.

Notes to editors

  • The main objective of The Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) grant programme is to promote advanced research with a humanities or social sciences perspective by established researchers in priority fields of research identified annually by the IOC.


  • Dr Chatziefstathiou has received significant distinctions from the IOC in the past. She was the receiver of the IOC post-graduate grant (2009), as well as the laureate of the inaugural ‘Coubertin Prize’ (2009) for her world-leading research on the writings of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. 


Canterbury Christ Church University

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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:25:00