Legacy Governance – LA84 Foundation

LA84 Foundation

  • Olympic City: Los Angeles
  • Country: United States of America
  • Edition of the Games: 1984 Summer Olympic Games
Since 1985
©Free Vector Maps

How Legacy Governance Started In Los Angeles

The LA84 Foundation, a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, transforms lives and communities through its support of youth sports programmes in the City of Los Angeles and Southern California.

The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognised leader in supporting youth sport programmes and public education on the role of sports in positive youth development. The foundation, with 30 years of on-the-ground experience, has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organisations through grant making, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and acting as a national thought leader on important youth sports issues. LA84 levels the playing field so that sport is accessible to all children, while elevating the field of youth sports as an integral part of American life.

Sport matters as 71% of Los Angeles youth do not currently obtain the recommended amount of exercise each week; 42% of low-income youth in Los Angeles are overweight or obese, while in contrast, 92% of LA public high school athletes graduate.

The LA84 Foundation’s impact can be summarised as follows:

  • More than 3 million youth and their families are impacted;
  • 2,200 not-for profit partners support the Foundation;
  • 30,000 kids are reached annually through LA84 programmes;
  • 42% of total participation is female participation;
  • 75,000 coaches have been trained so far.

The LA84 Foundation is proud to support young athletes and coaches, while evaluating the socio-emotional, health and academic outcomes of youth sports. LA84 creates sports opportunities for all kids and promotes the importance of sports in positive youth development.


Legacy is…

“When people are inspired to work together for the common good, then good things happen”, Renata Simril, President & CEO, LA84 Foundation.

The LA84 Foundation is a living legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games. The foundation supports youth sports in Southern California through grant making, coaching education, infrastructure investment, thought leadership, and research.  In addition, the LA84 Foundation celebrates the Olympic Movement and Olympic Values by operating an extensive online sports library available to a worldwide clientele and maintaining a collection of Olympic artifacts and posters which are displayed at the foundation’s headquarters.

What’s next?

“I don’t think (LA84 Foundation) should have a legacy. It should do its job each year and think about how it can be better each year, how it can impact more people and more kids. Everything either progresses or retrogresses, and I think LA84’s role is to continue to break new barriers and to do some new things that help further its mission.“ Peter Ueberroth, Chair of LAOOC 1984, LA Foundation Report 2012-2014.


Promote a healthy and active lifestyle

Sport matters, and above all, for the youth. It plays an essential role in promoting a healthy lifestyle, and has a tremendous impact on the life of the youth and their families. The Foundation supports youth sports in Southern California through grants to non-profit organizations that provide sports for youth. In addition, the foundation maintains an extensive online sports library; supports research on youth sports; and convenes meetings and conferences devoted to the examination of youth sports topics. The over-arching mission of the foundation is to eliminate the play-equity gap in youth sports. That is, the foundation works to ensure that all children regardless of family income, ethnicity, gender, and ability have the opportunity to participate in sport and reap the social, health and academic benefits associated with youth sports. Access to sport for all also implies an availability of sport facilities for all categories of people and the foundation invests in renewal and implementation of such facilities.

Promote social and constructive behaviour

Sport transmits essential values such as fair play, respect for rules, respect for peers, as well as pride in oneself and pride for the city. Education is the cornerstone of “living together” and sport is intrinsically linked to education.

The Foundation has placed education at the heart of its mission, making a significant investment in education through its library, research support, public op-ed postings on sports issues, and by convening thought leaders. Additionally, many of the youth sport programs that the LA84 Foundation funds through grants include an education component. The foundation particularly supports sports programming that intentionally seeks to provide benefits which transcend the field of play.

The foundation organises an annual Summit, a 350-person thought leadership conference that examines youth sports issues of interest to a national audience.

Through collective celebrations such as Olympic Day in the United States, the installation of plaques (funded by the LA84 Foundation) and the induction of Olympians Anita DeFrantz and Joan Benoit Samuelson into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Olympic Stadium in 1932 and 1984) Court of Honour, the Foundation contributes to the promotion of sport and Olympism-related values.


Figures speak for themselves and LA84 Foundation has achieved the following over more than 30 years:

  • More than 3 million youth and their families been impacted;
  • 2,200 non-profit partners support the Foundation;
  • 30,000 children are reached annually through LA84 programmes;
  • 42% of total participation has been female;
  • 75,000 coaches have been trained.

Through the number of kids helped, the number of grants distributed, participation inquiries and satisfaction questionnaires, LA84 has a solid understanding of its impact. The Foundation releases a biannual report.

Key Challenges

In the 1970s youth sports in Los Angeles faced the same problems that existed in most large US cities. Sporting choices were limited. Education and certification for coaches was few and far between. Most girls did not play formal sports. Young people with intellectual or physical disabilities had very few options for play. Fact-based evidence attesting to the importance of sport in young people’s lives was rare. And race, ethnicity and income tended to exclude low-income children and people of colour from sports that required expensive equipment, travel and membership in clubs, such as – aquatics, tennis, golf, skiing, rowing and cycling.

These problems existed throughout Southern California but were most acute in Los Angeles and other large cities. Therefore, in 1978, the City of Los Angeles signed a multi-party agreement with the IOC, NOC, and the OCO to establish a private foundation devoted to improving youth sports in Southern California, in the event that the 1984 Olympic Games resulted in a surplus.

The 1984 Games ended with a $232.5 million surplus, of which 40% was used to create the LA84 Foundation. The foundation has never strayed from its core mission of improving youth sports in Southern California, through grant making, coach education and educating the public on the role of sport in society.

Grant making took two forms – programs and infrastructure. Most grant making was programmatic. In its first three decades, however, the foundation made $20.4 million in infrastructure grants, benefiting nearly 100 facilities. In recent years, the foundation has made its advocacy and communications efforts more explicit, focusing on the Play Equity Movement to bring the transformational power of sport to all children.

Key learnings and recommendations

The LA84 Foundation, in three-and-a-half decades of operation, has learned three overarching lessons: 1) Play Equity is an ongoing problem in youth sports, 2) the youth sports landscape is constantly changing, and 3) solving problems requires a coordinated effort among many partners from a variety of sectors. To be successful, the LA84 Foundation has had to navigate these issues in a way that accounts for this changing landscape and evolving knowledge.

Encouraging progress has been made on Play Equity. Developments since the foundation began operations in 1985 suggest that we are headed in the right direction.

  • There is a wider range of sports choices for low-income families.
  • Far more girls play sports than in the 1970s.
  • The number and variety of programs for both the intellectually and physically disabled have grown.
  • Coaching education is the norm rather than the exception.
  • There is a body of research that frames sports participation as a key component of positive youth development.

These encouraging developments, though, are threatened by change, as well as the persistence of certain problems.

  • The rise of pay-to-play youth sports in the US has created a youth sports industry that privileges the affluent, and this is reflected in physical-activity rates correlating with family income.
  • Girls still participate in lower numbers than boys.
  • Options for disabled children remain limited.
  • Many policy makers, despite a wealth of research to the contrary, still regard youth sports as a luxury, not as an essential.
  • The Internet, social media, streaming, video games and other aspects of the information revolution provide young people with a growing number of non-sports diversions.

Today, the foundation functions much as an NGO, relying on private/public partnerships and using its platform to advocate for the value of sports.

The foundation provides support to a diverse range of youth sports providers – both public and private – in dozens of sports. Working toward Play Equity requires constant vigilance and the willingness to adjust priorities and tactics, while retaining the goal of providing sports opportunities to everyone, especially those who have historically been excluded.



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 – Olympic Park Munich

Olympic Park Munich

  • Olympic City: Munich
  • Country: Germany
  • Edition of the Games: 1972
Since 1972

How Legacy Governance Started In Munich

Six days after the 1972 Olympic Games, the Olympic Park was already operational and hosted its first major Post-Games event. This shows both the preparation that was anticipated before the Games and the ability of resilience after the tragic events that happened during the 1972 Olympic Games.

More than 14,000 events have taken place in the Olympic Park since 1972. In 2019 alone, the park registered 4,3 million visitors, of which 2,9 million visited 417 events and more than 1,4 million visited the tourism and leisure facilities.

With this unique concentration and combination of different event and leisure facilities and corresponding attractions, the Olympic Park in Munich has developed to become one of the most important centers of its kind.

The Olympiapark München GmbH is an investment company 100% owned by the City of Munich.

The goal of the company is to operate the Olympic Park site and it’s functionally and locally connected facilities, including outdoor and auxiliary areas, and to conduct all business activities associated with this task.


The company’s motto is: Think and act in a creative, innovative, economic as well as customer- and future-oriented way. Its main tasks consist of acquiring and/or generating new events, keeping leisure facilities up-to-date and ensuring that the venues are in state-of-the-art condition.

The services which are offered by the Olympiapark München GmbH to its customers are of particular importance: The company’s expertise includes event organization, PR and media work, incentives, catering, ticket sales and marketing – services which are also partly provided and realized by business partners such as DO & CO München GmbH or München Ticket GmbH.

Beyond its international reputation as an event and leisure center, the Olympic Park also represents an important economic potential for the Bavarian capital.

Legacy is…

For the Olympic Park Munich, legacy is gearing the venues and facilities towards the future in a way that preserves a unique legacy.

What’s next?

Since almost 50 years, the Olympic Park has been the ideal platform for a wide spectrum of event and leisure facilities. And it should continue to be exactly that in the future. Especially with regard to the Olympic Stadium, the Olympiapark München GmbH focuses on important and economically promising events. It is also crucial to preserve the unique architecture, such as the Olympic tent roof as a hallmark of the city of Munich and at the same time making the venues and facilities ready for the future.

2020: Start of the application process for admission to the UNESCO World Heritage List

2022: 50th Anniversary Olympic Games; The European Championships Munich 2022

2023 and the next years: further renovation and modernisation of the Olympic facilities. Operationally, the Olympic Park will focus its attention on important and economically promising events.


Promote a healthy and active lifestyle

Olympic Park Munich is the best place when it comes to sports – no matter which time of the year. It offers indoor (Soccer arena, ice rink, swimming pool, a fitness studio and wellness facilities) and outdoor (Exercise Areas, tennis, mini-golf, inline skating, boat rental) high-level facilities promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. It also hosts sport clubs for team sports such as water polo, swimming, diving, underwater rugby, figure skating and ice dancing, ice hockey or short-track. It is a place made for families and young people.

Olympic Park Munich is a convinced promoter of action sports. For the last years, it has hosted the MUNICH MASH Festival. This event combines action sports such as skateboarding, BMX, wakeboarding and brings the special culture that comes with action sports to the people – creating a unique atmosphere. Dancing, listening to music, shopping or chilling – Olympic Park celebrates action sports! With over 100 entertainment stations for the visitors, music, art, culture and infotainment, MASH is a meeting point for everyone – interactive, entertaining, exciting, and informative for people of all ages.

Promote the City by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

Olympic Park Munich is one of the landmarks of the City of Munich as the City’s development is closely linked to its Olympic history. The City is intrinsically linked to its Olympic history. The Games were a true success in terms of sport and are linked to the tragic part of History.

The park has also managed to take the best advantage of the unique architecture and offers various guided tours through the area (such as the architecture tour, of the spectacular roof that includes roof climb and flying fox as well are architecture tours.


  • 219,6 mio. registered visitors; including 124,8 mio. visiting 14,324 sports, cultural and commercial events since 1972;
  • About 94,8 mio. guests of the recreational and tourist facilities.

Key Challenges

Keeping high-level facilities

From 2007 to 2020, the Olympic Hall was renovated and modernized during the daily event operations. Under the management of the Stadtwerke München Services GmbH (the client), new kiosks, new telescopic grandstands, a new ceiling, new VIP areas, a new truck departure area and new building services were installed. In addition, the display technology was expanded and modernized. A new restaurant Club/Coubertin with a beer garden was built. The new “Small” Olympic Hall was opened in 2011 and many other renovation works were carried out, which above all serve to save energy. For visitors and customers, this renovation means: more service, more comfort and an even wider range of events.

Before the modernisation, the Olympic Hall had already been used for 35 years. The planning of the hall goes back even further. Despite ongoing maintenance and modernization work over the past few decades, a building of this age can only meet the requirements of a modern event if its technology is the current state of the art. Even more when a venue plays in the top league of event venues. Therefore, the renovation was absolutely necessary for functional and technical reasons and can be seen as a clear signal for a successful future of the Olympic Park.

Maintaining political will

As a an investment company 100% owned by the City of Munich, the long-term political challenge is to keep the City of Munich as the owner of the Olympic Park. Also to secure financial support for necessary measures in the future. In 2022, the Olympic Park will celebrate its 50 years anniversary of the Olympic Games Munich 1972. The highlight with regard to sports will be the European Championships Munich 2022, the biggest multisport-event held in the Olympic Park after the Olympic Games with 9 sports in total. Hosting over 4.500 athletes, Olympic Park Munich will be in the center of attention, showing its attractiveness and connecting with its Olympic past in a forward –looking perspective.

Key learnings and recommendations

Diversify the offer

Of particular importance are the services that the Olympiapark München GmbH offers its customers: The company’s expertise includes event organization, PR and media work, incentives, catering, ticket sales and marketing – services which are also partly provided and realized by business partners such as DO & CO München GmbH or München Ticket GmbH.

Beyond its international reputation as an event and leisure center, the Olympic Park also represents an important economic potential for the Bavarian capital. Large events such as MUNICH MASH 2014/15/16/17/18/19, X-Games Munich 2013, UEFA Champions League Festival incl. Women´s Final 2012, the European Athletics Championships in 2002, the concert of the 3 Tenors in 1996, the Davis Cup final 1985, the basketball finals in 1989 and 1999, the Compaq Grand Slam Tennis Cup in the years 1990-1999, or the guest performances of “Holiday on Ice” (since 1972), shareholder meetings held by major companies (Allianz, BMW, Siemens), exhibitions and large outdoor events (e.g. FIFA Fan Fest 2006, Festivals) as well as numerous additional events have contributed to the prosperity especially of the retail and tourist industry. Not to mention the positive marketing and promotion effects that events of such caliber generate for the City of Munich and its tourist industry.

Keep high profile through cooperation with business enterprises

To secure and further extend the extraordinary diversity of leisure facilities and the economic existence of the Olympic Park in the future, an unprecedented cooperation of high-profile business enterprises in the field of event center marketing was founded in 1992 – the “Treffpunkt Olympiapark” (“Meeting Point Olympic Park”). The intention of this pool of sponsors is to make use of the communication potential of the Olympic park That way, the cooperating parties benefit from the fascination and the high experience value of the Olympic Park. At the same time, the financial means obtained by the partnerships will be used for acquiring new, attracting top events and for improving the parks’ infrastructure.

In the current business year 2020 the “Meeting Point Olympic Park”, which is supported by the S&K Marketingberatung GmbH, is made up of the following companies: AOK Bayern, BMW, Coca-Cola, Airport München, Langnese, Leonardo Hotels, Lotto Bayern, Münchener Brauereien and Stadtsparkasse München.



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 – Seoul

Korea Sports Promotion Foundation

  • Olympic City: Seoul
  • Country: Korea
  • Edition of the Games: 1988 Olympic Summer Games
©Free Vector Maps

How legacy Governance Started in Seoul

With “Enjoy Sport, We Support” as a motto, the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO) offers a very efficient and unique legacy governance model.

After successfully hosting the Olympic Games, Korea needed a public foundation for two purposes. The first was to commemorate the Seoul Olympic Games and manage Olympic legacy. The second purpose was to provide funds for the development of Korean sports in general by managing the Olympic surplus. In itself, the KSPO is a direct, concrete and lively legacy from the 1988 Olympics.

The KSPO was founded as a public service corporation on April 20, 1989 with authorization from the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in order to commemorate the 1988 Summer Olympics and promote national health through sports. KSPO‘s five main functions are the following: (i) to provide financial support in order to promote national sports, and raise and distribute funds; (ii) to install and support sports facilities and foster the sport industry; (iii) to conduct research in sport science; (iv) to undertake projects commemorating the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games; (v) to support youth-development projects.

As a strong supporter of financial affairs for Korean sports, the KSPO contributes to improving quality of life so that all Korean people can live in harmony through sports and enjoy a healthy life through sports in daily life.

The KSPO is also operating three Olympic sports centres in the Olympic Park, Bundang and Ilsan areas so that citizens can enjoy sports in their daily lives. These centres provide a wide range of facilities and programs for citizens’ systematic health care and sports activities.


KSPO aims at being a reliable supporter in promoting citizen sports welfare.

Legacy is…
Olympic Legacy is a medium for sports promotion both in Seoul and Korea. In addition, this part of Seoul’s history is an asset for promoting the City itself.

What’s next?
KSPO will do the best to develop the institution into a top-notch public corporation that creates best value. KSPO’s management innovations and endless efforts for changes will endear the corporation to the nations. In addition, KSPO is currently reflecting on how it can further capitalize on the heritage of the park, including making souvenirs using the mascot of the 1988 Games, for which the IOC has the copyrights.


Promote a healthy and active lifestyle

Enjoying life through sport is directly related to the individual’s right to happiness. Hence, the KSPO is helping people maintain health and vitality through participation in sports and leisure activities.

KSPO contributes to improving national health and quality of life through the promotion of sports.

One of KSPO’s visions is to be a reliable supporter in promoting citizen sports welfare. Thanks to high quality and accessible sports and welfare centres (three Olympic sports centres), the KSPO aims at facilitating sports practice among the population.

Promote social and constructive behaviour

Playing as a role model, KSPO is fully utilising its existing network to fulfil its vision of social responsibility “Creating social values through sports”. It also aims at building a fair society with shared growth. By doing so, KSPO promotes Olympic values such as respect and friendship and contributes to maintaining the Olympic spirit alive within society. Among others, the KSPO implements projects oriented towards giving hope to uneducated young adults through sports; utilising KSPO infrastructure such as the Olympic Museum, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Olympic Youth Hostel, and Korea Institute of Sport Science to provide various sports-related, hands-on job experiences, education on Olympic values, and creativity programs for elementary to high school kids; contributing to local community charity work such as volunteering welfare facilities, giving donations, helping with farm work, and distributing briquettes to solitary elderlies. The Hope Sharing 2nd Round project consists of creating jobs for seniors, providing tutors to low-income classes, supporting camps for the disabled, and providing emergency medical costs.

Promote the city by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

One of the initial missions of the KSPO was to commemorate the Seoul Olympic Games and to manage the Olympic Legacy. By valuing and re-using Olympic venues throughout the City, the KSPO contributes to spreading the Olympic history of the City and the Olympic Spirit in Seoul and beyond. Through the promotion of art and culture (Seoul Olympic Museum of Art), the accessibility to sports facilities and accommodation at Olympic Parktel, KSPO anchored the City’s modern activities with its Olympic past.


About 5.23million people visit Seoul Olympic Park every year.

About 0.22million people visit Seoul Olympic Museum every year.

KSPO provides Olympic Values Education Programme to 1,000 students a year.

Key Challenges

Securing financing from sports activities to sports activities
KSPO designed an original model that finances sports through sports. It raises national sports promotional funds from cycle racing, motorboat racing and Sport Toto, and uses them to contribute to enhancing life standards through sports and fitness programmes.

Ethics at the heart of management
KSPO puts enormous effort on making ethical management as part of the daily lives of its employees and partners by improving the quality of service through management innovations and transparent company cultures. To become a trusted partner with collaborating companies and local communities, KSPO puts emphasis on building transparent contract processes and nurturing small and medium sports companies. KSPO makes continuous efforts while working fairly and confidently to become a role model for any public services.

Social responsibility is core to KSPO’s work. KSPO’s LoveShareVolunteers programme plays a central role getting its employees to participate in various volunteer work in local communities, spreading values of sharing and shared growth in order to make the society a better place.

Key learnings and recommendations

Making Citizens Healthy & Korea Energized through Vitalizing Sports For All
For everyone – from children to seniors – to enjoy sports regardless of their age, area, or income, we build various sports facilities such as citizen health centres and open gyms around the neighbourhoods as well as renovate deteriorating public sports facilities.

Free Assessment of Physical Fitness & Exercise Prescription Service
KSPO provides the National Fitness Award program to manage citizens’ health and promote sports participation. Any citizen who is 13 years old or above can visit the Citizen Fitness Assessment Centre (a total of 43 centres around the nation as of 2018) to scientifically assess their own health condition. Fitness professionals will then provide appropriate management plans according to the citizen’s needs. Starting 2016, the National Fitness Award On-Demand Bus and its staff has been on service to provide the same National Fitness Award program to busy individuals such as taxi & bus drivers and office workers.



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:




Beijing International Sports Film Week

Beijing, China