Temporal Variations in the Relationship Between Legacies and Support: A Longitudinal Case Study in Rio 2016 Olympic Games

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The purpose of this research was to describe temporal variations in Rio residents’ support for the 2016 Olympic Games and in the relationship between perceptions of legacies and support for the event. Drawing on social exchange theory, perceptions (expectations and evaluations) of tangible, intangible, and environmental legacies should affect support intentions. A longitudinal trend study was designed. Four multistage stratified random samples of Rio residents were surveyed in 2012 (n = 900), 2014 (n = 900), 2016 (n = 723), and 2018 (n = 550). Results showed that perceptions of legacies and support for Rio 2016 Olympic Games decreased progressively from 2012 to 2018. In the early stages of preparation (2012 and 2014), expectations of intangible and environmental legacies were predictors of support. In the year of the event and 2 years after the event, perceptions of tangible legacies were predictors of support. Longitudinal findings show that, to gain support, organizers promise unattainable legacies, which then lead to dwindling support, as they fail to deliver them. Findings suggest that organizers’ plans and actions of sport mega-events must change.

The author is with the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom.

Rocha (claudio.rocha@stir.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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