Dr. Kaplanidou has had the opportunity to attend the summer Olympic Games in both Athens and London, but has also studied the Games held in Sydney and Beijing. Both Dr. Kaplanidou and the IOC are interested in studying what makes a city remain “Olympic” over time. And, if a city fails to maintain the great standards that brought the Games to its people, what can be done to elevate it back to the proper status?
Once published, Dr. Kaplanidou headed over to the English capital herself to conduct more research on image perceptions and the emotional impact among spectators at the London Games. Asked about her time over in London, Dr. Kaplanidou responded that she was very surprised at the subdued nature she encountered throughout the city. “There was no collective Olympic feeling, just pockets of celebrators and spectators in the Olympic live sites. For most parts of London, it was business as usual.”
Dr. Kaplanidou is definitely proud and excited about her work, as she should be. When asked what sparks her interest in this particular topic, she discussed the enormous sense of pride held by Olympic host city residents and how that enthusiasm often rubs off on others. At first, residents tend to appreciate the new infrastructure (stadiums, roads, hotels, etc.), but once the initial excitement has worn off, there still remains an emotional investment in the city. Often times, residents are quick to tell others about how proud they are to be living in a former Olympic host city.
Stay tuned for more great research by Dr. Kaplanidou on legacy outcomes for future summer Olympic Games when she will be report back from Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Até breve!
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