5 Lasting Effects of the 2012 Olympics
Mohammed Hamid provides an analysis of the impact the London 2012 Olympic Games had on the environment, economy, transport, culture, and sport.
No doubt about it the Olympic Games left a lasting mark on London and Britain as a whole. Though the Games themselves went off without a hitch, some question whether or not they will have a positive lasting impact on British life. Here is our analysis of the effect of the 2012 Olympics from five different perspectives.
One of the biggest triumphs of the London Games has been their environmental impact - or lack thereof. Heralded as the "greenest Olympics ever", summer 2012 saw a successful implementation of recycling and regeneration efforts, setting the stage for the most environmentally-friendly games ever. Lasting effects include the Olympic Park, which has permanently improved a formerly derelict area with the addition of green space. According to the BBC, the Olympic venues were built from approximately 1/4 recycled materials, setting a bold precedent for games to come.
Hoteliers and London hospitality providers complained of a severe drop in tourism during peak season due to the Olympics. Security and organisational fears kept visitor numbers shockingly low despite the tremendous fanfare surrounding the Games. In the long term, most economic experts note that Olympic Games generally rarely create long-term financial gains - whether or not London will be an exception remains to be seen. While there's no doubt that London's infrastructure benefited from investment, it is unknown whether that will be enough to promote future economic growth directly.
Transport was undoubtedly a contentious issue leading up to the games. Naysayers had serious doubts concerning the ability of TfL to provide services without a hitch. Traffic was also a major concern, as the Olympic lanes caused frustration amongst locals. However, now that the Games are over, the permanent positive effects on public transport overshadow any temporary inconveniences. Stratford is now one of the best-connected areas in all of Europe thanks to Olympic transportation investment, whereas the Tube itself can boast dozens of new, state of the art trains that were rolled out especially in time for the Games.
Linking into the environmental efforts of the game's organisers, The Tree of Life Project in the Thames Valley is just one example of the lasting cultural impact of the Olympics. Linking artistic expression and "green" thinking, this two-year initiative boosted creative production in communities along the Thames. A wide range of schools participated in the project, including Reading College, OCVC, and Langley Academy. The Games also ushered in a strong feeling of volunteerism amongst the general population of London, creating a strong, lasting community spirit that has been celebrated by game observers and attendees alike.
British Sport Impact
Perhaps the most significant lasting impact of all will be down to the underdog performance of Team GB. Against all the odds, the team went on to score more gold medals than any British team in the history of the games, to a final tally of 29. Instant stars were made in the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis, and there's no doubt that many thousands of Britons have been inspired by the stories of relative athletic newbies like the women's rowing pair champions, the first British team to ever win gold in that event. Athletes and commentators alike agree that the success of Team GB in 2012 has inspired improvements in local sporting facilities, promising that Team GB will continue to perform in years ahead.
By this analysis, the impact of the Games has been positive. While skeptics made their voices heard before the summer spouting doom and gloom, they have all but been silenced by the bounding success of the environmental and transport initiatives, as well as by Team GB itself.
This article is written on behalf of Oxford & Cherwell Valley College.
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About the Author
Mohammed Hamid is a copywriter and experienced blogger working with independent schools.