On 6th July 2005, London was named as the host city of the 2012 Olympics for the first time in over 60 years, beating off a bid from neighbours France at an IOC meeting in Singapore. Described as “a momentous day for Britain” by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, the overall feeling around the country was one of excitement. The whole event was a huge success in the eyes of the majority of Brits and people all around the world. However, at a cost of around 9 billion pounds to the British economy, was it all worth it in the end? I believe so.
Some of the benefits of the London 2012 legacy can include a boost for the British economy in the way of an increase of new jobs thanks to the many additions such as the infrastructure remaining from the Olympic Park; the Olympic Stadium, now used by West Ham United, has provided many jobs for people who may struggled to find a permanent job. Not only this, West Ham also have to pay £2.5 million pounds per year to rent the stadium. therefore adding to the economy. An increase in tourism also helps to boost the economy, as well as inward investment and the encouragement of trade.
Another part of the legacy was to help sport in Britain at all levels. After a successful 2012 Olympics for Team GB on the sporting field, the aims were to continue the elite success into the following competitions and ensuring that improvements to performance will be made as a result of this event. Also, the other long-term aims of the sporting legacy from the games was to increase sport at the participation levels and keep these people taking part in physical activity. After the games obviously made a lasting impression on both the sports-enthusiasts and those who don’t take part in sport, Sport England reported an estimated record 750,000 more people playing sport after the London Olympics; it additionally showed the strongest growth in participation among women ever seen in the UK.
Other impacts of London 2012 do include a regeneration of London by cleaning up some of the less aesthetically pleasing areas of London and turning it into a place where anyone can use, with the Olympic Park being a prime example of this. Once a tipping site, now a multi-million pound sports facility available for everyone. The athlete’s village was transformed into housing to again help to boost the economic scene as well as to avoid destroying a part of Olympic nostalgia.
So maybe the multi-billions spent on bringing the prestige of the Olympic Games to London could have been spent elsewhere, but the legacy left by the summer of 2012 has no doubt made a lasting impression on anyone who still has memories that can be remembered by the incredible infrastructure of The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.