Inspired by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Legacy Strategic Approach, Beijing 2022 issued the Legacy Plan of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as a continuing effort from the 2008 Beijing Olympics “to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities, regions and countries” (IOC, 2020). Using a qualitative approach guided by Asper’s (2009) empirical phenomenology and Alase’s (2017) interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), the author interviewed the Olympic officials in legacy planning for the 2008 Summer Games and/or the 2022 Winter Games, the scholars in Olympic studies, and a journalist reporting the Olympic legacy related news in Beijing. The narratives presented the interviewees’ positive experiences and perceptions in most of the sustainability inquiries of the “soft” legacy goals. The results revealed that the Olympic and Paralympic ideals had been well appreciated by the mass public since Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games and the sports and social legacies from the Games had been carried forward to Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. At the same time, a gap existed between urban and rural, especially on the sustainability of the legacy goals concerning people with disabilities.


Olympic Games, Beijing 2022 Olympics, Sports legacies, Social legacies, Sustainability,


  1. International Olympic Committee, (2020) Olympic Charter. Retrieved from https://olympics.com/ioc/olympic-charter
  2. P. Aspers, Empirical phenomenology: A qualitative research approach (The Cologne Seminars), The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 9(2) (2009) 1-12.
  3. A. Alase, The interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA): A guide to a good qualitative research approach, International Journal of Education & Literacy Studies, 5(2) (2017) 9-19.
  4. International Olympic Committee, (2019a). Beijing 2008 legacy dovetails with 2022 Winter Games to boost sports participation in China. Retrieved from https://www.olympic.org/news/beijing-2008-legacy-dovetails-with-2022-winter-games-to-boost-sports-participation-in-china
  5. M. Roche, (2000) Mega-events modernity: Olympics and expos in the growth of global culture, Routledge.
  6. International Olympic Committee, (2014). Olympic Agenda 2020: 20+20 Recommendations. Retrieved from http://olympic.org/Documents/Olympic_Agenda_2020/Olympic_Agenda_2020-20-20_Recommendations_ENG.pdf
  7. International Olympic Committee, (2017) Legacy strategic approach: Moving forward. Retrieved from https://olympics.com/ioc/olympic-legacy#:~:text=Olympic%20legacy%20includes%20the%20long,long%20after%20the%20Olympic%20Games
  8. Beijing 2022, (2019a) The legacy plan of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Retrieved from https://www.beijing2022.cn/a/20190219/009247.htm
  9. International Olympic Committee, (2019c). Beijing 2022 has big plans to produce big benefits. Retrieved from https://www.olympic.org/news/beijing-2022-has-big-plans-to-produce-big-benefits
  10. D. Dayan, F. Katz, (1992) Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA and London, England.
  11. J.F. Larson, H. Park, (1993) Global television and the politics of the Seoul Olympics, Avalon Publishing, United Kingdom.
  12. M. Malfas, E. Theodoraki, B. Houlihan, Impacts of the Olympic Games as mega-events, Municipal Engineer, 157(3) (2004) 209-220.
  13. M.D. Moragas, N.K. Rivenburgh, J.F. Larson, (1995) Television in the Olympics, John Libbey Media, Italy.
  14. E.W. Rothenbuhler, The living room celebration of the Olympics, Journal of Communication, 38(4) (1988) 61-81.
  15. E.W. Rothenbuhler, Values and symbols in orientations to the Olympics, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 6(2) (1989) 138-157.
  16. H. Preuss, The conceptualization and measurement of mega sport event legacies, Journal of Sport & Tourism, 12(3-4) (2007) 207-227.
  17. N. Agha, S. Fairley, H. Gibson, Considering legacy as a multi-dimensional construct: The legacy of the Olympic Games, Sport Management Review, 15 (2012) 125-139.
  18. E. Barget, J.J. Gouguet, The total economic value of sporting events: Theory and practice, Journal of Sports Economics, 8 (2007) 165-182.
  19. J.L. Chappelet, Olympic environmental concerns as a legacy of the Winter Games, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 25(14) (2008) 1884-1902.
  20. J. Davis, A. Thornley, Unban regeneration for the London 2012 Olympic Games: Issues of land acquisition and legacy, City, Culture and Society, 1(2) (2010) 89-98.
  21. J.T. DeLuce, J. DeLuce, The Olympic legacy and parks and recreation, Parks & Recreation, 31(6) (1996) 42-47.
  22. K. Kaplanidou, K. Karadakis, Understanding the legacy components of a host Olympic city: The Case of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Sport Marketing Quarterly, 19(2) (2010) 110-117.
  23. K. Kaplanidou, The importance of legacy outcomes for Olympic Games for summer host cities residents' quality of life: 1996-2008, European Sport Management Quarterly, 12(4) (2012) 397-433.
  24. S. Li, & S. McCabe, Measuring the socio-economic legacies of mega-events: Concepts, propositions and indicators, International Journal of Tourism Research, 15(4) (2013) 388-402.
  25. C. Song, E. Ranelli, Reading the major economic indicators to examine the impact of the Olympic Games on Beijing's economy, Journal of Business Issues, 1 (2008) 37-55.
  26. L. Chalip, Towards social leverage of sport events, Journal of Sport Tourism, 11(2) (2006) 109-127.
  27. J. Chappelet, Mega sporting event legacies: A multifaceted concept, Papeles de Europa, 25 (2012) 76-86.
  28. S. Cornelissen, U. Bob, K. Swart, Towards redefining the concept of legacy in relation to sport mega-events: Insights from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Development Southern Africa, 28(3) (2011) 307-318.
  29. L. Fredline, L. Jago, M. Deery, The development of a generic scale to measure the social impact of events, Event Management, 8 (2003) 23-37.
  30. G. Silvestre, The social impacts of mega-events: Toward a framework, Esporte e Sociedade, 4(10) (2009) 1-26.
  31. A. Smith, Theorizing the relationship between major sport events and social sustainability, Journal of Sport & Tourism, 14(2-3) (2010) 109-120.
  32. M. Taks, Social sustainability of non-mega sport events in a global world, European Journal for Sport and Society, 10(2) (2017) 121-141.
  33. A. Balduck, M. Maes, & M. Buelens, The social impact of the Tour de France: Comparisons of residents' pre- and post-event perceptions, European Sport Management Quarterly, 11(2) (2011) 91-113.
  34. Y. Guo, C. Zhou, Y. Hou, (2012) People's perception of the social impacts of the Beijing Olympic Games before and after 2008. In W. Maennig & A. Zimbalist. International handbook on the economics of mega-sport events (461-481). Edward Elgar.
  35. N. Pappas, Hosting mega events: Londoners' support of the 2012 Olympics, Journal of hospitality and Tourism Management, 21 (2014) 10-17.
  36. J.L. Contreras, A. Corvalan, (2014). Olympic Games: No legacy for sports, Economic Letters, 122, 268-271.
  37. V. Girginov, L. Hall, A sustainable sports legacy: Creating a link between the London Olympics and sports participation, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 25(14) (2008) 2091-2116.
  38. A.C. Billings, (2008) Olympic media: Inside the biggest show on television, Routledge.
  39. C. Song, J. Zhang, S. Ryan, Perceptions and attitudes of university students in Beijing toward the international media's coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games, International Journal of Sport Communication, 3 (2010) 207-225.
  40. C. Song, J. Zhang, A. Zhou, S. Ryan, Effect of sport media on social behavior: The attitude and perception change of Chinese college students toward the international media reporting the Beijing Olympics. International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports, 8(4) (2019) 125-141.
  41. L. Minnaert, An Olympic legacy for all? The non-infrastructural outcomes of the Olympic Games for socially excluded groups (Atlanta 1996eBeijing 2008). Tourism Management, 33 (2012) 361-370.
  42. Amnesty International, People's Republic of China: The Olympic countdown - one year left to fulfill human rights promises, Amnesty International Publications, (2007) 17-33.
  43. J.J. MacAloon, (1998) The politics and anti-politics of Olympic marketing. Keynote address to the Annual Conference of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand.
  44. P. Horton, J. Saunders, The 'East Asian' Olympic Games: What of sustainable legacies? The International Journal of the History of Sport, 29(6) (2011) 887-911.
  45. International Olympic Committee, (2016) Legacies of Olympic Games 2008 set to benefit Beijing 2022. Retrieved from https://olympics.com/ioc/news/legacies-of-olympic-games-2008-set-to-benefit-beijing-2022
  46. International Olympic Committee, (2019b). Beijing 2022 shows positive impact of Games vision. Retrieved from https://www.olympic.org/news/beijing-2022-shows-positive-impact-of-games-vision
  47. B. Leopkey, M. Parent, Olympic Games legacy: From general benefits to sustainable long-term legacy, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 29(6) (2012)924-943.
  48. R. Cashman, (2006) The bitter-sweet awakening: The legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Walla Walla Press.
  49. J.L. Crompton, The economic impact of sports tournaments and events, Parks and Recreation, 34(9) (1999) 142-150.
  50. T. Mules, B. Faulkner, An economic perspective on special events. Tourism Economics, 2 (1996) 314-329.
  51. M.J. Burbank, G.D. Andranovich, C.H. Heying, (2001) Olympic dreams: the impact of megaevents on local politics, Lynne Rienner.
  52. E. Fredline, B. Faulkner, Variations in residents' reactions to major motorsport events: why residents perceive the impacts of events differently, Event Management, 7 (2001) 115-125.
  53. B. Burgan, & T. Mules, (1992).Economic impact of sporting events. Annals of Tourism Research, 19, 700-710.
  54. D.M. Goldstein, Dancing on the margins: transforming urban marginality through popular performance, City & Society, 9 (1997) 201-215.
  55. G. Hughes, (1999). Urban revitalization: the use of festive time strategies, Leisure Studies, 18, 119-135.
  56. S. Essex, B. Chalkley, Olympic Games: Catalyst of urban change, Leisure Studies, 17(3) (1998) 187-206.
  57. M. Raco, (2004) Whose gold rush? The social legacy of a London Olympics. In: Vigor, A. et al. (Ed), After the Gold Rush: A Sustainable Olympics for London, IPPR/DEMOS, London
  58. B. Littig, E. Griessler, Social sustainability: a catchword between political pragmatism and social theory. International Journal for Sustainable Development, 8(1, 2) (2005) 65-79.
  59. Edmund Husserl, (1931) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2020/entries/husserl
  60. C. Moustakas, (1994) Phenomenological research methods, Sage Publications, USA
  61. M. van Manen, Phenomenology of practice, Phenomenology & Practice, 1 (2007) 11-30
  62. J.W. Creswell, (2012) Educational Research: Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th ed.). Pearson, United Kingdom.
  63. Ppactranz, (n.d.) The Back Translation method: What is it and why use it? Retrieved from https://www.pactranz.com/back-translation/
  64. Beijing 2022 (2019b) Beijing 2022 shows positive impact of Games vision. Retrieved from https://www.olympic.org/news/beijing-2022-shows-positive-impact-of-games-vision
  65. T. Bach, (2022) Opening remark for the Beijing 2022. Retrieved from https://posts.careerengine.us/p/62013d8a5872e523d7135817?from=latest-posts-panel&type=title
  66. SPEAR, (2009) A Systematic Review of Evidence Base for Developing a Physical Activity and Health Legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research, Department of Health, UK.
  67. Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, (2009) Beijing Statistical Yearbook 2020. Retrieved from http://nj.tjj.beijing.gov.cn/nj/main/2009-en/index.htm
  68. Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, (2022). Beijing Statistical Yearbook 2021. Retrieved from http://nj.tjj.beijing.gov.cn/nj/main/2021-tjnj/zk/indexeh.htm