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Niamh M. Murphy and Adrian Bauman


Large-scale, one-off sporting or physical activity (PA) events are often thought to impact population PA levels. This article reviews the evidence and explores the nature of the effect.


A search of the published and grey literature was conducted to July 2005 using relevant databases, web sources, and personal contacts. Impacts are described at the individual, societal and community, and environmental levels.


Few quality evaluations have been conducted. While mass sporting events appear to influence PA-related infrastructure, there is scant evidence of impact on individual participation at the population level. There is some evidence that events promoting active transport can positively affect PA.


The public health potential of major sporting and PA events is often cited, but evidence for public health benefit is lacking. An evaluation framework is proposed.

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Colleen English

, and enhance national well-being. Sport was, for these proponents, a “basic cultural organizing principle for an entire nation.” 18 U.S. victories at the Olympic Games symbolized the success of this nation-building project and the “superiority of American society.” 19 Though the connections between

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Rob Millington, Simon C. Darnell and Brad Millington

values of policy and politics, including environmentalism. Within this terrain, environmental organizations, groups and activists have been able to claim legitimacy and pressure institutions like the International Olympic Committee, and events like the Olympic Games, on their environmental record

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Carolyn E. McEwen, Laura Hurd Clarke, Erica V. Bennett, Kimberley A. Dawson and Peter R.E. Crocker

processes in elite sport. The Summer Olympic Games are a unique worldwide event occurring every 4 years, and for many athletes they represent the pinnacle of sport achievement ( Gould & Maynard, 2009 ; Stambulova et al., 2012 ; Wylleman et al., 2012 ). Elite athletes often plan their careers around the

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Bo Li, Olan K.M. Scott, Stirling Sharpe, Qingru Xu and Michael Naraine

International sporting competitions have been a source of value and pride, ultimately serving as an expression of national identity ( Allison, 2004 ; Maguire & Tuck, 2005 ). The Olympic Games have often been the site for study to understand how the media portray patriotism ( Vincent & Hill, 2013

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Eilidh H.R. Macrae

Voluntary sports clubs (VSCs) provide the primary opportunities for organized community sport in the UK and thus hold the responsibility for delivering on mega-event sports participation legacies. This study presents findings from open-ended questionnaires and interviews conducted in two phases (Phase 1—Spring, 2013; Phase 2—Summer, 2015) with representatives from a sample (n = 39) of VSCs to understand their ability to deliver on the participation legacy goals of London 2012 and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Thematic analysis of the data outlined three themes where support for VSCs should be placed when planning future mega-events: building VSC capacity, retaining members in the long-term, and promoting general visibility of the VSC throughout the event. Bid teams who hope to use mega-events as catalysts for sports participation increases should direct funding and guidance toward VSCs to ensure they have the tools, knowledge, and capacity to deliver on national sports participation ambitions.

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Amanda Kastrinos, Rachel Damiani and Debbie Treise

Every 4 years the Olympic Games bring together millions of people from around the world to participate in a shared experience. The Games are unique in uniting individuals from all backgrounds and birth countries to sit in the same arena or similarly glue their eyes to the television, participating

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Christopher M. McLeod, Haozhou Pu and Joshua I. Newman

whole of 2008. In short, during August 2008 the air was the cleanest and the sky was the bluest it had been in Beijing’s recent history. August 2008 was also the month that Beijing hosted the twenty-ninth Summer Olympic Games. To manufacture this air quality achievement, the Beijing Organizing Committee

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Erin E. Redihan

the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games and to influence the International Olympic Committee. 6 There was growing concern that American athletes were falling behind their Soviet peers in international competition. As such, the Johnson administration, which was the first to invite the Olympic team to

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Benjamin H. Nam, Sangback Nam, Adam Love, Takuya Hayakawa, Rachael C. Marshall and Kyung Su Jung

Among ethnic Koreans, marathon running has long been important, as it has promoted national cohesion and Korean identity during tumultuous times. The success of Korean runners in the international sporting arena began at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where, running under the Japanese flag