Legacy Governance – Sarajevo


  • Olympic City: Sarajevo
  • Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Edition of the Games: 1984 Winter Olympic Games
Since 1984
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How Legacy Governance Started In Sarajevo

The 1984 Winter Olympic Games played a central role in the identity of the region. Seen as a symbol of strength and a way to celebrate peace-building and inter-regional cooperation, the Games continue to foster a spirit of solidarity among people and nations.

A successful event

For the city of Sarajevo, hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 1984 was among the most significant events in the history of Yugoslavia. The Sarajevo Olympics were not boycotted by any nation (compared to 1980 Games and 1984 Summer Games) and were instead a shining moment of global unity centered around sports. As such, Yugoslavia, and Sarajevo specifically, felt a tremendous personal responsibility to go above and beyond in its role as host nation and host city. The Olympic Games allowed the City to showcase its treasures to the world. The Olympic Games boosted the image of the City and developed locally a genuine and long-lasting Olympic Spirit.

Immediately following the closure of the Olympic Games, the public organisation “Winter Olympics 1984” (Zimskih Olimpijskih Igara 1984, ZOI 84) was created to manage the overall legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, the promotion of resorts abroad, and the city’s candidacy for subsequent Winter Games. It is also responsible for the Olympic complex Bjelašnica-Igman. ZOI 84 is in charge ski pass sales, the snow cannons, the operation of the ski lifts, and the organization of the resort’s emergency services.

A tragic war

In 1992, the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina started (BiH). Sarajevo endured the longest siege in the modern history of war. In an IOC article, Nedzad Fazlija, a five-time Olympian and Sarajevo City Council Administration Representative recounts his experience: “The first objects destroyed in Sarajevo were the Olympic facilities. It was very difficult to live in the city, to cope without water, food, warmth. For sport, of course, it was not a good time. But the Olympic spirit of the city gave people the strength to endure another day, another week, another month. The people helped each other as they could.”

For a city, losing sport facilities is not only a material loss. Sport facilities allow people to practice sport, to gather, to share collective emotions, and to express local or national pride. This is the reason why sports facilities are seen as war targets.  This is also the reason why rebuilding these facilities is a priority.

Time to rebuild

Both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games were held at Kosevo, the Olympic Stadium. Built in 1947, it was thoroughly renovated and expanded for the Olympic Games. After the war it was rebuilt into a multi-purpose facility and is currently home to football club FK Sarajevo and to the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team. The stadium is named after Asim Ferhatović-Hase, a legendary player on FK Sarajevo – the city’s Premier League team which plays its home games in this stadium. The stadium currently has a seating capacity of 36,500.

With help from the International Olympic Committee, Zetra Olympic Hall was able to undergo reconstruction at the end of the 1990s. Since that time, it has been known as Juan Antonio Samaranch, in memory of the long-term President of the IOC and a great friend to Sarajevo.  It has served as the venue for several international speed skating events and several world records were broken here. Recently, it served as the main venue for the 2019 European Youth Winter Olympic Festival. Hosted in Zetra Hall, the New Olympic Museum reopened in 2004, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Olympic Games.

The iconic cable car connecting Sarajevo with Mount Trebevic reopened in 2018. It offers the greatest panoramic view of the city. The mountain is known for bob and sledging competitions. Over the years, the bobsleigh track has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in Sarajevo. It was abandoned and vandalized but is now undergoing a new renovation thanks to the Bobsleigh and Luge federations. The Olympic ski area of Bjelašnica is close to Sarajevo and three ski resorts (Bjelašnica-Igman, Mount Bjelašnica with Babin Do, and Mount Igman with Veliko et Malo polje) which are managed by ZOI 84.  The other Olympic site for alpine skiing is the Jahorina ski resort, today the largest ski resort in BiH.


Legacy is…

Olympic legacy in Sarajevo includes all of the 1984 Olympic sites. Most of the facilities have been renovated and a few are still damaged. However, even those facilities not yet restored are encompassed into a vision that transforms damage into an asset. In addition to Olympic facilities, Sarajevo benefits from an exceptional and deeply rooted Olympic spirit and pride, ensuring that the Olympic flame will live on.

Thanks to the combination of facilities and Olympic spirit, Sarajevo and Istočno Sarajevo hosted the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival, a sort of mini-Olympic Games for European Youth.  The EYOF brought together 1,000 young athletes aged 14-18 from 46 countries in Europe. Biathlon, curling, ice hockey, figure skating, short track speed skating, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding were the eight sports on the program.

What’s next?

“Join us and be convinced why Sarajevo has been declared the best Winter Olympic Games host of all time.” This is the City’s motto for boosting “Olympic Tourism”. The city strategy is to promote its Olympic history as a means of increasing tourism. Guided tours of the Olympic legacy in the city are already operating and the objective is to increase the capacity and visibility of Sarajevo as an Olympic City.


Promote the city by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

Sarajevo is a member of the family of Olympic cities and, even though some time has passed since the XIV Winter Olympics in 1984, memories of this glorious time for Sarajevo are still very much alive, and a lot of work has been done to renew iconic facilities and places.

When searching for “Sarajevo’s Olympic spirit”, it’s best to start at the Olympic Museum of BiH. The old museum was engulfed in flames in 1992, so the collection is now located in the same building as the BiH Olympic Committee, next to the Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Stadium (Zetra). As for Edin Numankadic, the director of the Olympic Museum, “If you look at the history of Sarajevo in the 20th century, people know about the beginning of the First World War, they know about the siege [1992 to 1995], and they know about the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic Games is the only positive, and that’s why we care about this cultural heritage.” Most of the collection was salvaged and transferred to the  Zetra Olympic Complex and the new BiH Olympic Museum was opened in 2004 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Games. Many items related to the Games have been donated, which has helped replenish the museum’s collection, and renovation of the Olympic Museum is in progress.

Many other places are worth a visit, such as the Olympic Mountains –Trebević, Bjelašnica, Jahorina and Igman –; the Sarajevo neighbourhoods and former Olympic Villages, Mojmilo and Dobrinja, which were built as part of the preparation for the XIV Winter Olympic Games.

Promote Olympism and its values 

The Olympic Games continue to play a key role in the definition of the identity of the region. Games are perceived and used as a way to celebrate peace-building and inter-regional cooperation.

“This atmosphere, which ruled for the Games, created something that we call the Olympic spirit, which has remained to this day. We built facilities, but the most important benefit has been the Olympic spirit. It drives and motivates people to get involved in sport, to train, or to just be fans” says Nedzad Fazlija. “Very soon after the end of the war, the youth began sports activities again, but without any facilities. Day after day, the focus was on repairs. But that desire for success, proving that you are fighting for your country in sports competitions, gave new hope to people to begin a new fight: to restore the ruined city, and to continue to fight for the country on the sports field.”

Olympic values give hope to the youth. The Olympic spirit continues to be a central part of the region’s identity and the recent European Youth Olympic Winter Festival marked a new chapter in its Olympic history. In 2019, Sarajevo organised the European Youth Olympic Festival.

The most lasting benefit of the 1984 Olympic Games is the spirit that is transmitted from generation to generation. The City of Sarajevo can build upon the human legacy of Sarajevo ’84 to prepare its future and connect its youth with past and future. This Olympic spirit creates new athletes of all levels.


A core obligation and a priority of the NOC (National Olympic Committee is to participate in multi-sport Olympic competitions and to develop the sports system in BiH. The OC BiH is dedicated to the preservation of the Olympic heritage and the promotion of Olympic values. Currently, the NOC has not designated a concrete strategy for preserving the Olympic heritage and promoting Olympic values. It is likely that in the future, the City of Sarajevo will need to develop a strategy with the help of the OC BiH.

The Olympic Museum is key to this nascent strategy. It was renovated in 2004, after the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, it has received approximately 10,000 visitors every year.

Key Challenges

A place dedicated to the history and legacy of the Olympic Games

The most important project for the preservation and promotion of the Olympic heritage for the OC BiH has been the maintenance and preservation of the Olympic Museum, which was managed by the OC BiH, until 2020. The main challenge, during this period, was to ensure financing for the preservation of the Museum. OC BiH managed to reopen the Museum, with great effort and dedication. However, due to insufficient funding, the Museum suffered from a lack of employees. Only one person worked in the Museum, with reduced working hours and an inability to work weekends. It is also important to point out that there were no funds for the promotion and modernisation of the Museum.

Mostly due to the contributions of the City of Sarajevo, Olympic Solidarity, Sarajevo Canton, UNESCO and the Council of Ministers of BiH, OC BiH renovated the museum building (reopened in 2020). Since then, OC BiH has handed over the maintenance of the newly renovated Olympic Museum to the City of Sarajevo via a 10-year contract (with the possibility of extending cooperation), which provided a budget for the maintenance of the Museum and the employment of experts for its management. The Museum currently employs 5 people, and the number of tourists visiting the Museum is anticipated to increase due to the strategic location of the Museum in the city centre.

Priorities in promoting the Olympic legacy

1984 Olympic Games contribute to the positive image of the City and it remains a very positive element to be built upon. The city attracts tourists and increases the Olympic sightseeing offer by renewing its venues. To achieve this strategy, it is essential that places and venues are clearly and visibly identified as Olympic sites. To complement this greater visibility, souvenirs and mascots are present in shops.

Facing political and institutional challenges

The war damaged not only the Olympic venues and facilities, but also destroyed archives and land registers, so it is sometimes very difficult to identify the “owners” of some venues.

In addition, Olympic venues and facilities are present on territories that have different rulings. Bosnia and Herzegovina is comprises two politico-administrative entities: BiH Federation and Republica Srpska. The City of Sarajevo itself also underwent post-war politico-administrative changes. Istočno Sarajevo (East Sarajevo) is a city located in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of a few suburban areas of pre-war Sarajevo which are now in the Republika Srpska and in newly built areas. Both entities worked together to organise the successful European Youth Olympic Festival in 2019.

Key learnings and recommendations

Set up strategic partnerships to maximise development opportunities

In addition to the Olympic Museum, OC BiH has implemented other projects aimed at promoting Olympic values and legacy, in accordance with its capabilities and with the available Olympic Solidarity programs.

In line with these efforts, OC BiH recently organised an art workshop with Sarajevo primary and secondary school students on Olympic legacy of BiH. The project aimed to generate interest in BiH’s rich Olympic legacy among students. The second in a series of art workshops, the event was organised in the newly opened Olympic Museum. The first one took place in 2019, just before the beginning of Sarajevo/East Sarajevo European Youth Olympic Festival (YEOF). An Olympic education project will feature lectures given to primary school children on the topic of Olympic values – excellence, respect and friendship. It is also important to emphasise that every year, OC BiH organises the Olympic Day celebration in June. This event promotes Olympic values and provides an opportunity for as many students as possible to discover and be initiated into a wide variety of sports. The Olympic Day is organised in Sarajevo, Travnik, and Mostar.

The year 2014 saw the inception of the “Olympic Arenas and Environmentally Sustainable Development,” a partnership project implemented by OC BiH in collaboration with the “Let’s Do It” project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main activities are focused on education in primary and secondary schools as well as on cleaning and afforestation of Olympic sites. The activities are directly focused and carried out directly or in the vicinity of the Olympic arenas. Education as a key segment of sustainable development has proven the need to act in this direction as we pass on the knowledge of Olympism and Olympic values while conveying the essential importance of the relationship with nature and the environment to the younger generations. Projects in this field are recommended by IOC and are in line with the IOC Agenda 2020. Projects of this kind are necessary for BiH society, since the Olympic arenas, especially in the summer, are not in an enviable state of cleanliness, and thus are functionally unusable for citizens.

OC BiH has also been a partner in the project “Youth Sports Games” for many years, which brings together boys and girls from all over BiH, demonstrating the principles of the Olympic Games through project activities and removing barriers on all possible grounds of discrimination and negative sociological phenomena in every society. In addition to participating in sports activities, each generation of children visits the Olympic Museum, during which they have the opportunity to listen to an educational lecture on Olympism, Olympic values and the rich Olympic legacy of BiH.

Mobilisation of volunteers

The energy of volunteers was vital in rebuilding the Olympic legacy, just as it was vital during the organisation of the Games nearly 40 years ago. The youth in Sarajevo are particularly involved, as they need facilities to practice.  The human legacy of 1984 represents the future. The city dealt with the legacy and damage of the conflict in an admirable manner. International and inter-organisational cooperation, plus volunteer energies were key in this renovation process.

The population has been mobilised in order to collect, create and recreate collective memories within the city. Post-Games, the Olympic bobsleigh and luge track had been frequently used, but became an artillery position for Bosnian-Serb forces. Heavily damaged, in 2014, restoration efforts began with the help of volunteers, the national bobsleigh federation, and a grant from the International Luge Federation, which also provided on-site support.



More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:




Legacy Governance – Richmond

Richmond Olympic Oval 

  • Olympic City: Richmond
  • Country: Canada
  • Edition of the Games: 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games
Since 2008
@Free Vector Maps

How Legacy Governance Started In Richmond

In 2008, two years before the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, the opening of the Richmond Olympic Oval was celebrated. That same year, the Oval was incorporated as a municipal corporation. Immediately after the Games, the Oval hosted the Wheelchair Rugby World Championship. It has since been host to many subsequent editions of this event. Residents and visitors in Richmond, Canada, continue to benefit from the city’s decision to host a portion of the Winter Olympics 2010. Sports managers have ensured that facilities and programmes are accessible to the entire community.

How does a city with a population of around 223,000 manage to annually stage international and national sporting competitions, in addition to more than 100 community events? In recent years, Richmond, in British Columbia, has hosted a long list of high-profile contests such as the World Martial Arts Games, the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, and the Fencing World Cup.

During the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the city was the home of long track speed skating and is proud of the fact that the venue, the Richmond Olympic Oval, now serves the community on a daily basis. Thanks to its great modularity, the Oval has over 6,000 members who use its fitness, wellness and sport facilities for activities including basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, group fitness, yoga, table tennis, and more.

In addition, the Oval has over 2,400 m2 of strength training and workout space, a 17-metre climbing wall complete with lead, speed and bouldering, two indoor hockey rinks, and is home to the Richmond Olympic Experience, an engaging  interactive high-tech Olympic Museum. Thanks in part to the many opportunities offered at the Oval, Richmond attracted 8 million visitors in 2019 – 600,000 more than in 2015.


“Sport, health, wellness and entertainment—all under one roof” is the motto of the Richmond Olympic Oval.

The Oval project vision is to be “an outstanding centre of excellence for sports and wellness at the heart of an exciting urban waterfront.”

Legacy is…

To use the Olympic opportunity as a catalyst for raising the City to international stature, and creating new social and economic capital that significantly enriches Richmond’s quality of life. The Oval itself has endorsed the role of an agora around which a new city centre is being developed.

What’s next?

Subsequent steps include:

  • Promote the Community Wellness Strategy.
  • Continue to strengthen commitment to the community for the next ten years.
  • Continue to provide a training and competition facility for high performance athletes.


Promote a healthy and active lifestyle

The Oval is a one-stop shop for all ages and skill levels, from members of the community looking to try an activity for the first time to athletes representing the country on an international stage.

The Oval’s activities are integrated within the City’s policy with the aim of positioning Richmond as the best place for residents to play and achieve their highest potential, while also being a model of a Sport For Life community for Canada and the world. Richmond works towards integrating the delivery of recreation, school physical education and athletics, community sport, and regional health, to enable all citizens to reach their full potential within the framework of physical literacy, enhanced sport achievement and active for life.

Richmond became involved with the Active Well-being Initiative (AWI) as a pilot city because it wanted to connect with other cities, and to share its experiences as a place that is making the most of its Olympic legacy. In Richmond, there is a culture of activity, sport and wellness that is being served in the Oval and across the whole community. In November 2018, the city was designated as one of the world’s first Global Active Cities. The designation honours cities which have worked hard to offer all their residents the opportunity to have active and healthy lifestyles and to improve their well-being. As Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie says, “Richmond has long been known as one of Canada’s healthiest cities. We continue to work hard to help our citizens lead healthy, active lives through a wide variety of strategies including our recently approved Community Wellness Strategy, which was developed in concert with numerous partners. This tremendous global honour will help further energise our efforts to make sure all Richmond residents enjoy a great quality of life.”

Promote the city by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Mouvement

Richmond increased its visibility by being identified as an official Olympic site for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. In addition to its role as an indispensable place for sport and entertainment for the locals, the Oval is also a world-class facility hosting national and international events and the training of elite athletes. The Olympic Games contributed to locating Richmond on the world map as a host city for big events.

The Richmond Olympic Experience (ROX) contributes to the promotion of the city’s Olympic history and links past, present and future.

In the words of CEO George Duncan, “The Richmond Olympic Oval’s history is entrenched in sport excellence. From its foundation as a host venue for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, the Olympic spirit is encapsulated in every aspect of the operations at the Oval. From its evolution as a long track speedskating venue to a multi-use sport and culture destination, a world-class standard was established in the form of legacy goals that the Oval continues to work towards today.”


Figures speak for themselves. The 2019 Report shows the following results:

  • 1 million visits
  • 60,943 Group Fitness visits (+25 % from 2018)
  • 53,655 High Performance Training Sessions (+3%)
  • 1,876 Learn to Skate registrations (+24%)
  • 2,735 Summer Camps registrations (17%)
  • 35,572 visits to the Richmond Olympic Experience (3%)
  • 63 events hosted (+13%)
  • Constant increase in social media followers & web visits

Key Challenges

Competing environment

The Corporation operates in a highly competitive sport and fitness market which offers personal training, group fitness classes, high performance training, yoga, wellness, weight training and sport-specific training and facilities. The Corporation also hosts many local and national events and has various open spaces and rooms which are available for rent to the public. In addition, the Corporation also operates an Olympic museum and a retail store as part of the overall services offered to the public. The challenge is to attract both local users and high-level events and athletes in the same venue.

Key learnings and recommendations

Setting clear legacy goals

The Corporation adopted a set of five objectives in order to address its obligations to the City under the Operating Agreement and the funding requirements of the 2010 Games Operating Trust (“GOT”). To continue to build on its strong Olympic legacy, the Corporation focuses on:

  • Establishing positive brand awareness.
  • Becoming valued by the community and its employees.
  • Becoming the desired location for community sport, health and fitness.
  • Supporting high-performance sports.
  • Operating in a financially sustainable manner.

Every year, the annual report is an occasion to look back and assess the achievement of these objectives.

Defining ambitious operating objectives

Objectives were fixed in a 2008 agreement between the City and the Corporation and have since been adhered to.

  • The Oval will provide facilities, programs and services for quality sport, fitness, recreational uses and wellness services for the Richmond community, neighbouring communities and the general public.
  • The Oval will be developed, used and promoted as a training and competition facility for high performance sport.
  • The Oval will provide facilities for cultural, community and entertainment events. The Oval will provide ancillary commercial, retail, health and wellness services intended to enhance its use in respect to the activities set out above.



More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:



Richmond Olympic Oval Annual reports: https://richmondoval.ca/about-us/annual-reports/

Legacy Governance – Lillehammer Olympic Park

Lillehammer Olympic Park

Preliminary remarks

As you may have seen, two governance cases are dedicated to Lillehammer. Reasons that support this choice are twofold. First, Lillehammer hosted two editions of the Games. If the latter built upon the former to deliver great Games, it also produced its own legacy and consequently, structures to deal with it. Second, as legacy is about both venues and facilities at one side and education, knowledge transfer and experience sharing at the other side, two different cases were necessary to encompass various ways Lillehammer manages its Olympic legacy(ies). Inherited from the 1994 Games, the Lillehammer Olympiapark is a structure run by the municipality of Lillehammer that takes care of the majority of Olympic venues and events. The Lillehammer Olympic Legacy Sports Centre is an emanation of the Norwegian Sports Federation and Olympic and Paralympic Committee and is a direct legacy of the YOG.

Obviously, many bridges and crossovers exist between these structures and collaboration and common understanding are key. The big picture also encloses the Norwegian Top Sports Centre of the Innland region dedicated to elite athletes (Olympiatoppen Innlandet), the University, the Olympic Legacy Studies Centre as well as the remaining Olympic venues run by other municipalities or private companies. With all these partners involved in managing Lillehammer’s Olympic legacy, clusters (venues, events, training, research, etc.) facilitate organisation and legacy management

  • Olympic City: Lillehammer
  • Country: Norway
  • Edition of the Games: 1994 Winter Olympic Games
Since 1990
Lillehammer & the region
©Free Vector Maps

How legacy started In Lillehammer

“The XVII Winter Olympics did not exist. Norway did not exist. These were the fairy-tale Games, drawn from the imagination, staged in the pages of a children’s book. They could not exist. Reality cannot be that good!”.

Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, only two years after the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympic Games. Lillehammer inaugurated the new cycle of Winter Games alternating with Summer Olympic Games every two years.

Lillehammer Games remain in collective memories as successful human-sized Games with high environmental and sustainability standards. Twenty-five after the event, facilities are still in use and the housing built for the Games hosts more than 4000 students. The general assessment was that the 2016 Youth Olympic Games would not have been possible without the 1994 Games facilities and experience.

Today, Lillehammer Olympiapark AS is in charge with managing the Olympic venues, keeping them up level, and organising events. It is in charge with five Olympic venues: Lillehammer Olympic Bob and Luge Track, Birkebeiner Ski and Biathlon Stadium, Lysgårdsbakkene Ski jumping Arena, Kanthaugen Freestyle Venue, and Håkons Hall.

The corporate mission is defined as: “Based on the interests of the Lillehammer society and with a business approach the company shall own, operate, maintain and develop venues built for the Lillehammer’94 Olympics and activities naturally related.”


Legacy is…

Legacy is all the activities that takes place in the Lillehammer society that wouldn’t take place without the Olympic Winter Games 1994. For the society of Lillehammer, the three following areas of legacy has been the most important:

  1. The position (internationally known as an Olympic City).
  2. The educational institutions (the Norwegian High School of Elite Sports, and the Innland University of Applied Sciences).
  3. The Winter Olympic Venues utilized as multi-purpose venues

What’s next?

Lillehammer Olympic Park aims to be a venue for memorable moments and experiences.

Facilities are of tremendous importance for everyday life in the local community, where all athletes and tourists to sports teams and athletes are active users. Due to unique capacity and infrastructure, the Park attracts both tourists, national and international events and major training sessions. The company’s main task is to facilitate the greatest possible activity, not only in the facilities, but also in the local community. Lillehammer Olympic Park strongly contributes to realise the regional vision to be the most complete winter sports region in Europe.


Promote the City by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

The Olympic Park works towards the acquisition of sports, cultural and corporate events. The company was heavily involved in the bid for the 2016 YOG, and the bid process for the 2014 and 2022 OG. The company has also initiated and conceptualized several other events, especially mass events targeted to youth.

The company have been involved in (but not in charge off) the celebrations of the 10, 20 and the recent 25-year anniversary since the Olympics in 1994. Besides, the company has been an important player in the establishment of the “Torch Awards” where the region honours their inhabitants, the institutions and the business every second year.

Promote healthy and active life style

Based on the interests of the Lillehammer society and with a business approach the company owns, operates, maintains and develops venues built for the Lillehammer’94 Olympics and activities naturally related.

Running winter infrastructures into 365 days a year offer is a challenge. The Park offers free public recreational facilities (XC skiing, family sledging, park activities, etc.)

Winter sport strategic planning process was set up in 2005. The City is also involved in reflection about potential bid for the Olympics 2030, Global Active City, regional partnership, etc.


Evaluation of the Games and its legacy are based on concrete results:

  • Lillehammer University College grew from 700 students to 5.200 student. Growth is visible in all areas, but specially related to TV and media production, film production (due to the infrastructure from the MMC) and sports related education.
  • Cultural institutions and buildings built for Lillehammer’94 are well kept and developed
  • Approximately 8.000 – 10.000 cabins, apartments and second homes were built in the Lillehammer region. They are mainly connected to the alpine venues and mountain resorts focusing on Nordic skiing. The Olympic brand Lillehammer is one of the main reasons to be attractive, but also upgraded infrastructure (roads, railways, etc) and cultural activities played an important role.
  • Growth in tourism has occured after the Games, but less than expected.

In 2019 is launched a research process focusing on the long term legacy (25 years after). Most of the legacy is from the period 2000 – 2019.

Key Challenges

Planning processes to be short and efficient.

Short timeline from the time Games was awarded until the Games time.Very close collaboration between several public organisations is required (municipality, county, government, etc.). Cross political collaboration and agreements is key. Almost all political parties supported the process

Continuous scepticism

Scepticism remains among approximately 50% of the inhabitants in the region.

  • Not really solved. In fact more positive inhabitants in other parts of the country
  • Seriously focusing on the cases most criticized, and employing people from critical organisations to help the LOOC to solve critical issues.
  • Involvement of the entire country in cultural programs, design programs, development programs, etc.
  • Environment and sustainability early defined as an important part of the concept

Challenges to determine the sites

At the time of the Games’ preparation, there were fights related where to locate the different venues, and two much temporary installations. It is of tremendous importance for the post-games era.

  • Early decision to involve the neighbour cities (Gjovik and Hamar) to secure a sustainable post-Olympic use (Lillehammer was to small to keep all venues after the Games). Speed skating, Figure skating, Short track and one Ice hockey venue located outside Lillehammer
  • MMC/RTV Centre early decided to be converted to the future University College
    • Media village converted to student apartments to support the increasing number of students (40%). Rest of the media village was built as moduls and sold as student apartments to other parts of the country
  • Athletes village built to be sold in the private market after the games. Service buildings in the athlete village converted to centre for elderly people and a church (disco in the athletes village, now a church celebrating their 25 years anniversary next weekend)
  • The LOOC was not focusing at 4 season winter sports venues. This issue (problem) was left to the legacy organisations but followed by a post Olympic fund (approximately 40 mill Euros – 25 of them targeted to the sport venues).

Key learnings and recommendations

Strong legacy thanks to successful Games

The main reason for the success of the Games was the weather, very good operational plans and the huge interest from the Norwegian spectators.

  • A value based planning process followed by a strong venue based organisation.
  • Affordable tickets
  • Transport and traffic plans that worked
  • A lot of local families opened their homes to accommodate spectators and sponsors
  • The very special atmosphere was also a result of such a big scale event in a small and cosy city. The Olympics took over the entire city in a positive way.

A closer connection should be established between the legacy organisations and the Olympic Games Organising Committee.

For the future, every Organising Committee should establish a role CLO (chief legacy officer) to be a part of the executive management group.

  • Venues built to host a mega event needs to be adjusted to fit the daily needs.
  • Tourism and retail industry should not get access to legacy funds (to much money spent the first 3 – 5 years)
  • Accept that the legacy is a long-term project/process. Growth will not come the first 5 years.


Get prepared to adapt facilities and venues to local needs

  • Local, regional and national politicians needs to be told that Olympic sport venues will not be profitable.
  • To much discussions related to funding is exhausting and kills the creativity
  • Focusing on creating as much activities as possible should be the main role of the legacy organisations.
  • All sport venues today are accessible to the local population, and at the same time certificated at an international level for competitions
  • All sport venues are defined as multi-purpose venues and are not limited to sports. It is important to be able to utilize their attraction, size and infrastructure.
  • It is essential to recognize that winter sport is a 4 season activity. Today Lillehammer is the number 1 place to go for a young talented athlete. The tailor made combination between education and training from high school to university is extremely important.



More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:


Legacy Governance – Beijing

Beijing Olympic City Development Association

  • Olympic City: Beijing
  • Country: China
  • Edition of the Games: 2008 Olympic Summer Games
Since 2009
Beijing and Olympic Sites

How Legacy Governance Started in Beijing

The Beijing Olympic City Development Association naturally emanated from the willingness of the City of Beijing to best inherit, manage and utilise the tangible and intangible heritage left by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. To achieve its objectives, under the promotion and support of the Beijing Municipal Government and the Chinese Olympic Committee, the City of Beijing set up a non-profit corporate organisation less than a year after the Games. As activating, utilising and preserving the Games’ legacy is a daily work, Beijing has a sound institutional structure and mechanism and continues, creates and implements many projects in the fields of Olympic culture and legacy. BODA’s slogan perfectly embodies its missions: “Carry on Olympic Spirit, Build a better City”.

Under BODA’s umbrella and efforts, many programmes and projects of different scales are created and conducted in various areas.

Various key sports and cultural events are initiated and hosted by BODA: Beijing Olympic City Sports Culture Festival, Beijing International Sports Film Week, Olympic Music Festival, World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo and World Mind Games.

BODA also supports education, health and access to culture programmes that aim to promote the Olympic Spirit and values among the population. These programmes facilitate the healthy growth of the young people’s body and mind, promote the popularisation of Olympic culture and develop social cohesion.

Last but not least, BODA is proud of keeping the Olympic flame alive. Programmes carried by the Association highlight the social value of Olympic legacy through distinctively-themed cultural activities and explore new ways of promoting City development through utilisation of Olympic legacy.


Legacy is…

“Carrying forward Olympic spirit, inheriting Olympic legacy, building a better city and benefiting the residents.”

What’s next?

« The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games is the first edition of Olympic Games that conduct all-round planning and management of Olympic legacy after the publication of the Olympic Agenda 2020. Therefore, the IOC and Beijing have both attached great importance to this effort. (…) Beijing will draw on the experiences of previous Olympic Games and give high priority to the scientific planning of the Olympic legacy, with a view to creating a rich winter Olympic legacy, realizing the vision of the Games and achieving the greater and more sustainable development of Beijing ». Liu Jingmin, Interview, World Union of Olympic Cities, Newsletter, April 2018


Celebrate Olympism and its values

The Beijing Olympic City Development Association’s mission is to carry forward the Olympic spirit, expand the Olympic achievements, promote the sustainable development of Olympic and Paralympic causes in the city, build ”Humanistic Beijing, Hi-Tech Beijing and Green Beijing”, and help develop Beijing into a world-class harmonious and liveable metropolis. The scope of operation of BODA is to carry the Olympic Spirit through the mobilisation of social forces, the development of public welfare work and policies, the partnership with international organisations and Olympic Cities, the implementation of educational and cultural projects, the promotion of research and the public support of Olympic and Paralympic causes.

Promote the city by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games have had a tremendous impact on the City and has been positive in terms of image and reputation for Beijing. Since the conclusion of the Games, the City and BODA have been continuously working to leverage the positive impacts of the Games. The Games are a part of the City’s history and, through programmes, continues to shape its future. With the 2008 Summer Games’ legacy to build upon, and the 2022 Winter Games to look forward to, Beijing is strengthening its Olympic image and Olympic history.


Ten years after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, BODA’s action is powerful and relevant. BODA is recognised as the organ in charge with the organisation of the 10th anniversary celebrations.

BODA was in charge of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games bid, which is a success as the Olympic Winter Games have been attributed to Beijing.

Some BODA staff have been allocated to the preparation of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, as the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is aware of BODA people’s experience in terms of legacy preparation and management.

Key Challenges

Activating legacy is a daily work

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games deserved a management equal to their success. The Games genuinely contributed to showcasing and promoting Beijing to the entire world. The Games acted as a development accelerator and the City of Beijing decided to valorise on a longer-term what the Games allowed in the first place. It is a powerful and correct choice to dedicate such a big structure to the management of Olympic legacy.

Celebrating the past to animate the present and prepare the future

The City of Beijing has decided to establish such an institute to fully manage and utilise its Olympic legacy not only as an enrichment of its past history but as a powerful tool to promote the city’s health and culture development. It is also a useful launch pad to show social cohesion, sustainability and high tech development.

Beijing is the first city that has hosted the Games of the Olympiad and will host the Olympic Winter Games in the history of the modern Olympic Movement. The Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA) has taken an active part in the planning and management of Olympic legacy, seeking for the approaches of both Games’ legacy integration and inheritance, with a view to promoting the development of Olympic Movement and the sustainable development of the City and Region. BODA is committed to making more contributions to Olympic legacy inheritance through sports and culture exchanges, Olympic education, and research, review and exchange programmes on both Games’ legacy achievements and experience.

Key learnings and recommendations

Establishing a long-acting mechanism for legacy utilization

Following the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, to make better use of Olympic legacy and promote city development, Beijing established Beijing Olympic City Development Association, a special body for the utilization of the Olympic legacy. BODA is a non-profit social organization exercising a membership system, with the general assembly as its highest authority, the council as the executive body of the general assembly and the executive vice chairman as its legal representative.

BODA is a well-structured organization with rich resources and professional employees. As legacy utilization is beneficial to the future, sufficient financial and human resources are needed for the work. After years of practices, BODA has established and improved the rules and regulations of Olympic legacy utilization, formed an effective and smooth decision making mechanism and an operational system, and strengthened the working foundation for inheriting Olympic legacy and serving urban development, which have helped establish a long-acting mechanism for the healthy and sustainable development of Beijing’s Olympic legacy work.

Centring on the city’s development strategy

Centring on Beijing’s development strategy and functional orientation, BODA has integrated the work of Olympic legacy inheritance with the city’s key tasks to serve overall city development.

Relying on the platform of international sports organizations, BODA has carried out exchange programmes among Olympic cities. It has successfully hosted a number of international conferences and sports culture exchange events such as the IOC World Conference on Sport for All, IPC General Assembly and Conference, Summit of the World Union of Olympic Cities, “Sport Movies & TV-Milano International FICTS Fest” Final, WADA Gene and Cell Doping Symposium and IOC Athletes Career Programme Forum. It has made great efforts in carrying out international exchange programmes by taking advantage of the city’s function of “international exchange centre”.

Relying on the platform of Olympic sports culture events, BODA has, by using Beijing’s Olympic legacy, hosted a series of sports culture events, including holding ten editions of Beijing Olympic City Sports Culture Festival in succession which was initiated in 2010. The Festival has boosted the development of Beijing’s fitness-for-all campaign.

Relying on the platform of sports competitions, BODA has participated in the staging of sports competitions including SportAccord Combat Games Beijing 2010, Tour of Beijing Professional Road Cycling Race, SportAccord World Mind Games, Olympic City Cup Beijing World Minor Hockey International Tournament, Beijing Primary and Secondary School Mind Sports Games and Capital University Mind Games. These sports events have promoted the development of sports competitions and sports-for-all campaign.

Relying on the platform of Olympic education, BODA has hosted Olympic educational events including primary and secondary school football competitions. These events have enriched the sports and cultural life of students and fostered the primary and secondary school students with an all-around moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic grounding. BODA has played an active role in promoting youth winter sports and popularising winter sports knowledge in order to contribute to the development of winter sports in China.

Relying on the platform of Beijing Olympic legacy research, BODA has worked with Beijing University, Beijing Sports University and other institutions of higher education to research on the utilization of Olympic legacy for the purpose of promoting the development and prosperity of capital culture, building Beijing into an international sports centre, serving the all-round development of city and turning Olympic legacy into resources for urban development.

Relying on the platform of World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo, BODA has worked actively to promote the development of the winter sports, expand the exchanges and cooperation between domestic and foreign winter sports enterprises, and boost the development of the winter sports industry by holding exhibitions and winter sports forums as well as the Olympic City Development Forum.

Extensively pooling social resources

To make better use of Olympic legacy to serve urban development and enhance citizens’ wellbeing, BODA has built broad platforms to pool resources from all parties to ensure the high efficiency of public welfare activities. For example, for the Sports Culture Festival every year, BODA supported the building of a platform for the engagement and joint efforts of government agencies, member entities and other social forces in organizing public welfare activities, in order to create a dynamic situation for social engagement and support for the work of Olympic legacy inheritance. BODA has also adopted the marketing approach to achieve the win-win result. These efforts have not only reduced the costs of public welfare activities and improved activity efficiency, but also disseminated Olympic spirit more effectively and expanded the influence of Olympic legacy.

Staff and knowledge continue to serve the legacy planning of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games

BODA has brought together a number of professionals who are internationalised and experienced in Olympic preparation. They played an irreplaceable role in winning the bid to host the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. BODA provided important ideas for the bid strategy and offered constructive advice on the key issues arising in the bid. It sent key staff members with rich Olympic experience to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee to work in various functional areas, especially international relations and press and communication where they played an irreplaceable role and made significant contributions to the success of the bid. It strengthened the communication with the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission. In line with the responsibilities prescribed in the legacy strategy plan, it provided guidance for relevant departments of Beijing Municipality and Yanqing District in formulating and implementing their legacy work plans, completed the annual and overall legacy work reports, and fulfilled the task of legacy planning and management assigned by the IOC.



More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:

Beijing Olympic City Development Association


Legacy Governance – Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park

  • Olympic City: Sydney
  • Country: Australia
  • Edition of the Games: 2000 Olympic Summer Games
Since 2001
Sydney & New South Wales
©Free Vector Maps

How Legacy Governance Started In Sydney

Known as “the best Games ever” according to former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games highly contributed to both the promotion of sport and the largest land remediation project of its kind at the time and transformed a wasteland into Australia’s premier sports precinct and a model for sustainable development and urban renewal. It is now considered as one of if not the best post-Olympic Games townships.

The successful bid for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 1993 significantly increased the pace and scope of development within the area and it became one of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects. From 1995, the Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA) became responsible for the planning, urban development and management of the area and facilities for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. OCA played an integral role in the planning and delivery of the Games. An archive of Games information is available on the Games Info website. Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) was established on 1 July 2001 with the responsibility for managing the public assets of Sydney Olympic Park – open space, venues, parklands and development areas. The Sydney Olympic Park Authority Act No 57 is constituted to ensure the best use and management of a large and unique area in Sydney, an area which is a world renowned destination. The overall vision is for the Park to be an internationally admired example of sustainable urban renewal and development. One that integrates world-class venue infrastructure and parklands with a new community of workers, businesses, residents, students and visitors to create a valued legacy of the Games.

The Sydney Olympic Park Authority is responsible for managing and developing the 640 hectares that comprise Sydney Olympic Park and maintaining it as a lasting legacy for the people of NSW. Sydney Olympic Park Authority is responsible for day-to-day management of 220 hectares of its urban core, all public places, 430 hectares of parklands and 18 sporting venues. This includes the management of buildings, facilities and landscape assets; delivery of programs and events; enhancement of visitor experience; provision of sports and leisure facilities; conservation of water, energy and resources; protection of ecosystems, heritage and the environment; and general coordination of the orderly use, operation and development of the precinct. The Authority continues to develop Sydney Olympic Park, under the guidance of Master Plan 2030 (2018 Review), to be an internationally admired example of sustainable urban renewal and development. One that successfully integrates world-class events, venues and parklands with a new community of workers, residents, students and visitors and a valued legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sydney Olympic Park today generates in excess of $1B worth of economic activity annually; hosting 5,500 sport, entertainment, cultural and business events including 51 days with 30,000+ visitors.

The Mission of the Olympic Park is to curate world-class places and events that deliver exceptional customer experience. The Park is today a place to call home, a place for business, a place to learn and a place to visit.


Sydney Olympic Park is an internationally recognised place with world-class events, venues, parklands and a great place to live and work, built on its Olympic legacy in a sustainable way.

Legacy is…

For Sydney Olympic Park, legacy is about transformation – from urban wasteland to athletes’ village and the best ever athletes’ Games to a sustainable vibrant super lifestyle city. Sydney Olympic Park is a unique world class Olympic legacy that has been developed into Australia’s ‘home of sport’ – a precinct founded, developed, and inspired by sport, its ideals, character and the Australian sporting spirit.

What’s next?
The Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030 Review provides a blueprint for future urban development within the Park, providing for more than 34,000 jobs, 10,000 new dwellings – 23,500 residents, 5,000 students and 100,000m2 of retail while retaining major-event capability for up to 250,000 patrons and improving access to the 430 hectares of Parklands. The Plan sets out a commitment to achieve the highest possible rating of 6 -Star Green Star Communities. Sydney Olympic Park Authority is also working with Smart Cities Council to become the first Olympic precinct to gain Smart City accreditation. The Green Star and Smart City accreditation will: create conditions for greater sustainability outcomes, gather real time intelligence, protect the natural and the built environments, engage community, transform services and quality of life for everyone and implement sustainable planning of communities across governance, liveability, economic prosperity, environment and innovation.


Promote a healthy and active lifestyle

The Sydney Olympic Park Authority collaborates with it’s over 50 sporting organisations including state and national sporting bodies to deliver community participation programs. These sports partnerships with local sporting associations and the Park’s 12 home sports team and athlete ambassadors help inspire participation in a range of sports programs including 4,000 children participating in one of Australia’s largest swim schools, programs in football, gymnastics, basketball, cricket, AFL, rugby league, netball and over 500,000 schools students participating in athletics and swimming carnivals annually.

Increasing Sports participation is a multifaceted objective. The Sydney Olympic Park combines high-level facilities and a great choice of activities. The creation of open green space builds on the health and wellbeing of the community all year round both for the local population and for sports people. The environmental and cultural history of the Park is promoted through the Authority’s education programs.

The Authority has also developed a unique program for residents workers and students at Sydney Olympic Park to have access to programs events and concerts called Lifestyle. The Lifestyle program promotes lunch time activities and sports competitions.

The Authority has also facilitated the creation of Australia’s first sports technology incubator, the Sydney Sports Incubator which drives innovation in health wellbeing and high performance sport. Sydney Olympic Park is an innovation hub and welcomes business and R&D activities focusing on developing these technologies. The Sydney Sports  Incubator has been established to nurture sports start-ups and spearhead innovation in sports business and health.


Promote the City by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

Sydney Olympic Park is Australia’s home of sport, a sports hub but it is also a wold class destination for living, working and studying.

Education is a key program for the Park. This includes delivery of Technical Tours for future Olympic and World Cup host precincts. Visitors are invited to go behind the scenes of Sydney Olympic Park, the site of the “best Games ever”. With the release of the Sydney Olympic Park Masterplan (Review) 2030, visitors can hear about how this world-class sport and entertainment precinct has grown into a thriving residential and commercial centre. They learn about corporate governance and strategic planning; urban planning and development; business development; and community engagement. Such technical tours are ideal for professional and conference groups; university study groups; domestic and international business delegations; and government agencies

The Sydney Olympic Park Authority offers a unique case study of sustainable urban development all driven by hosting the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Another key initiative of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority’s education team is the delivery of global video conferencing to international students during the hosting of major sporting events that foster positive cultural exchange.

Last but not least, Sydney showcases legacy in dedicated places. Sydney Olympic Park is home to the biggest collection of large-scale site-specific urban art in a single precinct in Australia. With more than 50 pieces of public art and urban cultural features spread across this multi-faceted site, the collection provides a unique record of the evolving cultural history of Sydney Olympic Park. As well as works relating to the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, there are also pieces that evoke the early industrial uses of the site.

Sydney Olympic Park generates in excess of $1B worth of economic activity annually. The total number of events held at the Park for 2017-18 was 5,566. The number of visitors to Sydney Olympic Park in 2017-18 was 10.5 million including ticketed entertainment attendance increased by 355,000 visitors (+37%) – the main driver was concert attendance which was up 305,000 visitors.

In 2017-18 there were 51 days when there were more than 30,000 event patrons in the Park which is the same number as 2016-17. Sports based events eclipsed business events as the main type of event held across the Park in 2016-17. This difference has increased in 2017-18, with sports based events now comprising 47% of total events and business events now comprising 37%.

The Sydney Olympic Park based community grew in 2017-18 to 23,810 people, an increase of 1% on 2016-17. This is comprised of 17,500 workers; 4,450 residents; and 1,860 students.

Sydney Olympic Park Authority manages the Sydney Olympic Park precinct and has implemented the collation and reporting of visitor statistics on an annual basis in order to support attracting new investment and new business; planning services and facilities;  reporting to State Government and other key stakeholders; tracking market penetration of campaigns; and understanding relevance of Sydney Olympic Park to different markets.

As for the methodology applied, visitor data collection from venues and relevant Sydney Olympic Park Authority staff is completed either via a template or from the venues’ internal reporting systems. All data is then consolidated into a standard format. The information collected includes total number of visitors and the number of events held by purpose of visit segments.

The reporting of the number of workers, residents and students is based on the five yearly ABS Census, an intermediary Workforce Survey specific to Sydney Olympic Park and internal information from Property Development as relevant developments are complete.

Key Challenges

The hosting of the Olympic Games almost 20 years ago has allowed the NSW Government to create a global major events sports precinct.

The selection of a central clustered precinct certainly benefited the Sydney 2000 Games delivery but also provided an investment incentive for Government to embark on the largest remediation project of its kind at the Sydney Olympic Park site.

The focus of our challenges moving forward as an Olympic precinct is the increasing costs associated with venue and precinct maintenance. This is being addressed with the creation of new and upgraded sporting facilities which include Olympic and non-Olympic sports that are popular in Australia. In collaboration with national and state sporting organisations  SOPA and the NSW Government have been able to deliver and commit to sports facility projects including, BMX Racing, Mountain X, skateboarding and ‘centres of excellence’ for popular sports in Australia such as netball, rugby league and AFL and upgrades to sports fields, indoor sports halls, hockey, tennis, athletics and swimming facilities.

The Sydney Olympic Park Authority has been successful in collaborating with each sport to drive both community sport and top level sport in Sydney Olympic Park in a sustainable way. The strong sports use of facilities has been a key aspect of the Park’s success. Use drives investment and upgrades and new facility development.

Key learnings and recommendations

Identifying the right location for venues is key for post-Games era
The central model for the location of most venues in a central sports precinct certainly worked for Sydney’s Games. It provided the impetus for the largest land remediation project of its kind. Having acknowledged this each city that is contemplating hosting will have different considerations around the legacy benefits and how they may suit different models of delivery, but in Sydney’s case the central model worked.

As the Park now evolves into the ‘central city’ as the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Commission planning agency refers to the Park. The next phase of significant housing, entertainment commercial facilities are planned which will all be linked with light rail/metro and direct connections to the eastern CBD and Sydney’s planned 2nd airport in the west of the city.

Identification of the right facility delivery model to suit both current and future growth is fundamental. Decisions need to balance with event needs and future legacy and planning needs to allow a city to achieve a sustainable outcome and a lasting legacy such as Sydney Olympic Park.

Focusing on your strengths to deliver the best legacy outcome
Sydney Olympic Park has rich biodiversity which included 400 native plant species and over 200 native vertebrate animal species. It includes three endangered ecological communities, over 180 species of native bird, 7 species of frog, 10 species of bat, 15 species of reptiles and native fish species. This high species diversity and abundance in the geographical centre of a large and modern city contributes to Sydney Olympic Park’s high ecological, aesthetic and educational values.

Sydney Olympic Park’s once-degraded wetland and terrestrial ecosystems underwent extensive restoration works during the late 1900s in what was the largest land remediation exercise ever undertaken in Australia.

The high profile of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games ‘Green Games’ provided a strong social driver for fast–tracking these works and led to their integration with ecologically sustainable development initiatives occurring as part of the Games development.

The bid for the Games had included a set of environmental guidelines for implementation by host cities (Sydney 2000 Bid Limited 1993) based on sustainability principles adopted at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit. They included commitments to the preservation and protection of natural ecosystems and endangered species, as well as energy and water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation and prevention of pollution.

Today the Park work’s with all key sports stakeholders to achieve in partnership from community participation to top level sport. The Park has become an inspiration for tomorrow’s athletes as they engage and watch the top level athletes train and play in Sydney Olympic Park. The below ‘Sports Network Model’ highlights the many dimensions of the Park’s unique sports ecosystem that inspires sports participation.

Sports Network Model
Inspiring participation!




More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:







Legacy Governance – St-Louis

St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee

  • Olympic City: St. Louis
  • Country: United States of America
  • Edition of the Games: 1904 Olympic Summer Games
Since 2018
St. Louis & St. Louis area
©Free Vector Maps

How Legacy Governance Started In St. Louis

As the city that hosted America’s First Olympic Games, the birthplace of the Olympic Gold Medal, and the city that debuted Olympic diving, freestyle wrestling, boxing, and the decathlon, among many other firsts, St. Louis has as a goal to ignite or re-ignite the passion and Olympic spirit throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. As the Games were held in 1904, St. Louis needs to physically reconnect with its Olympic history through visible signs and symbols. This process is a natural and sustainable continuation of the 2004 Olympic Centennial Celebration, as described in the Olympic Legacy Toolkit.

As a Member of the World Union of Olympic Cities and St. Louis’ representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, the St. Louis Sports Commission’s goal is to inspire awareness and pride in St. Louis’ Olympic affiliation, and to positively impact St. Louis through its opportunities as an Olympic City.
In February 2018, the St. Louis Sports Commission unveiled its plans to raise the profile and impact of its region’s involvement in the Olympic Movement. The plans include initiatives to visibly identify the venues that hosted Olympic events in 1904. Two Olympic “spectaculars” – sculptures of the Olympic rings – will be displayed at sites that are historically linked to the 1904 Games. The first one was unveiled in Washington University, home to the 1904 Olympic Stadium and birthplace of the Olympic gold medal. The spectacular is located on the northeast corner of Francis Field, the oldest modern-day Olympic Stadium in active use. A site for the second spectacular will be chosen in a near future. To emphasize the historical significance of former Olympic places as well as to invite people to interact with and feel part of the Olympic Movement, interpretive signage will be installed featuring each venue’s role in the 1904 Games along with notable facts and stories. Each sign will include an IOC-approved stamp that incorporates the Olympic rings and has been specifically designed for St. Louis’ Olympic legacy programme. Complementing the spectaculars and signage initiatives will be grassroots programmes and educational platforms intended to engage the entire community, especially young people, in Olympism. A dedicated website has also been developed, that highlights the history, innovations and relevance of the 1904 Olympics, and provides information about the Olympic legacy project. Last but not least, by setting up a structured Olympic Legacy Committee, the St. Louis Sports Commission provides the necessary means and human resources as well as the sustainability and the time required for the project to achieve its objectives: to properly embrace and celebrate St. Louis’ Olympic Legacy, carry this torch for future generations and boost opportunities for the City and the region. Olympians and Paralympic athletes have been closely associated with the institution and the project and play a tremendous role in promoting the vision and the mission of the St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee.


The project is clearly inscribed within the IOC Agenda 2020 vision and the affiliation of St. Louis with the World Union of Olympic Cities.

Legacy is…
“As host of the 1904 Games and as America’s first Olympic city, St. Louis is in exclusive company, forever having a place at an international table that includes the world’s greatest cities. Our region’s role in the Olympic Movement is something to celebrate, and we want to make a transformative difference in St. Louis through the opportunities we have as an Olympic city.” Frank Viverito, St. Louis Sports Commission President.

What’s next?
The objectives of the St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee will be carried out through a multi-phase project that aims to ignite the community’s imagination around the Olympic spirit. The first phase of the project – installation of the Olympic spectacular and interpretive signage – is currently being implemented. Other elements – hosting events, producing grassroots programming, developing educational platforms – will be ongoing.


Celebrate Olympism and its values

Through visible signs displayed in the City as well as programmes dedicated to promoting the Olympic Spirit among the population, particularly its youth, St. Louis reconnects with its Olympic history and generates social cohesion and pride. Educational programmes are designed to engage the community in Olympism. Beyond embodying the Olympic Spirit, the Olympic rings are a timeless global symbol of unity and achievement. They will inspire the region to think more globally and thoughtfully about each other, and come together as a community to achieve great things. “Meet me at the rings” will surely become part of the region’s vocabulary! The participation of Olympians within the project is a lively testimony of the Olympic spirit being spread around. The St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee hopes to use the spirit of innovation exhibited at the 1904 Games as a model to move its community ahead.

Promote the city by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

The St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee contributes to the promotion of the City and the region, not only by looking at the glorious Olympic past but also by using the status of Olympic City as a door-opener for the future! As being an Olympic City is an asset, the organisation aims to generate greater understanding of the value and relevance associated with the region’s place in Olympic history. The St. Louis Sports Commission and its Olympic Legacy Committee also are focused on pursuing future Olympic events that can have significant impact on the community.  These include Olympic Trials, national governing body championships, torch relays and other special events, and connecting with the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. In April 2019, St. Louis was awarded the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics.


The management structure has been set up in 2018. It is already a success in itself to be able to mobilise so many people and partners around this project, including Olympians. The approval of the project by the IOC in terms of use of the Olympic properties or brand for non-commercial purposes is also an evidence of success.

Going forward, a key measurement of the initiative’s success will be the level of community engagement and awareness. The Sports Commission aims to achieve greater regional, national and international understanding of St. Louis’ role in the Olympic Movement – as well as the ways the St. Louis Games changed the Olympics for the better. Active participation numbers will also be indicators of success, particularly for grassroots events and activities. For instance, it is the Sports Commission’s goal to eventually have 1,904 young people from the region run the 1904 Olympic stadium track with Jackie Joyner-Kersee and other area Olympians every Olympic Day. An ultimate measure of success will be to what extent the Olympic legacy initiative can unite and inspire St. Louisans, and encourage them to strive for the Olympic ideals.

Key Challenges

The most distant legacy
Of all Olympic cities, St. Louis actually has the most distant Olympic legacy. That’s because even though St. Louis was the III Olympiad, the previous host cities – Athens and Paris – hosted another Summer Games since 1904. The St. Louis Games predated the introduction of the famous five Olympic Rings. The emblem that represents the 1904 Games is the logo of the World’s Fair, which coincided with the Olympics in St. Louis. So because its Games were so long ago, St. Louis lacks the marks, commemoration spaces and organizational infrastructure retained by most other Olympic cities. From a historical standpoint, there are many misconceptions about the St. Louis Games. Among the St. Louis Olympic Legacy Committee’s goals is to separate fact from fiction and highlight the ways the St. Louis Games changed the Olympics for the better.

Negotiating the use of the Olympic Brand with the IOC
Because the 1904 Olympics predated the existence of the rings, St. Louis previously did not have the ability to use the symbol.
Collaborating with the IOC, with support from the WUOC and guided by Agenda 2020, the Sports Commission obtained permission to include a stamp incorporating the rings and “Site of the Olympic Games” on approved historical signage and markers. This permission was the culmination of several years working collaboratively with the IOC and WUOC to share St. Louis’ vision and proposed initiatives, and to determine acceptable steps that could be taken. On September 28, 2018, St. Louis’ first Olympic Spectacular was unveiled at Washington University, site of the Olympic Games, as part of a special ceremony featuring area Olympians and 1968 Decathlon gold medallist Bill Toomey.

Focusing on the future; not living in the past
In St. Louis, people sometimes lament that the community is too tied to its history and not forward-thinking enough. So the Olympic Legacy Project needs to overcome a potential perception that it plays into the region “living in the past.” Much effort has been undertaken to present the initiative as forward-focused. It is still critical that St. Louis embraces and celebrates its history – especially as it relates to the Olympics, something so unique and significant. And the venues, history and stories surrounding the 1904 Games need to be promoted and celebrated in a much more visible way. But to make the initiative even more impactful, the Sports Commission emphasizes that St. Louis should be recognized as an Olympic city (once an Olympic city, always an Olympic city!). It also highlights the idea that St. Louis’ Olympic legacy can be a catalyst to pursue and attract future opportunities connected to the Olympic Movement. Taken together, this all can have an enduring impact, enhancing the region’s quality of life and generating economic and social benefit.

Key learnings and recommendations

Create a long-lasting structure dedicated to managing legacy
The presence of high-level volunteers who have a passion for the Olympics and their community plus strong civic relationships can make a tremendous difference in the ability to be successful.

Mobilise Olympians and Paralympic athletes

Athletes are the lively evidence of what can be achieved through sport. The St. Louis Sports Commission managed to involve local athletes who have a national and international dimension. Athletes are best positioned to talk to the youth, teach the sense of effort, transmit Olympic values and play as role models. The celebration of the 2018 Olympic Day is a great example of the mobilisation of Olympians and Paralympic athletes at the service of the community.

Link the past and the future
Activating legacy goes far beyond looking backwards and talk about old times. Stories are used to build new memories, create local cohesion and mobilise people.



More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at info@olympiccities.org 

Additional resources can be found through the following links:




Lausanne Olympic Week

Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne Olympic Centenary

Lausanne, Switzerland

Beijing International Sports Film Week

Beijing, China