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Sport Management and the Winter Olympic Games: Vancouver 2010


Sport Management

What can we associate Olympic Games with, and what is the importance and place of the Olympic Games among other sport competitions?

If asked these questions to the large public some would say that Olympic Games is the oldest and most important sport competition taking place every four year. Others would say that is a celebration of sport, joy and peace between nations. While some would acknowledge the huge economical benefits and recognition, such a competition can bring for the organizing nation of the Games.

Without no doubt all of these remarks are right. But what can we add more is that Olympic Games above all  is a celebration of olympism and performance.

Starting from this last remark let’s have a look at the most important drivers of a successful Olympic Games edition and how can be performance in regards with such an event be best pictured?

Just a few days ago a new edition of the Winter Olympic Games, has witnessed its 21st opening with a grandiose ceremony in Vancouver, Canada. It was for the first time in the history of Olympic Games when an opening ceremony was held in an enclosed stadium. And it was for the first time in the history of Winter Olympic Games when more than 60.000 thousand spectators were present in the stadium premises for the opening ceremony and other 3 billion watched it from behind the TV screens.

If looking only at these figures and we couple them with athletes performance during olympic competitions we could say that the Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver 2010 should be considered a big success. But is that right?

Beyond the unprecedentedly media coverage of the event, beyond the athletes’ performance there are a lot of other factors that play an important role in the success of an Olympic Game edition. All of them are enabled by Sport Management as a business discipline. When applied well, it secures the success of a competition from both a sportive and administrative point of view. Listed below are some performance measures and their related figures which portrait Vancouver Winter Olympic Games 2010 edition from a performance management perspective:

# Viewers per televised sport event: 34,5 million Americans viewed the opening ceremony in prime time, 2 out of 3 Canadians watched the event and overall it was projected that more than 3 billion people witnessed the opening event from behind the TV screens around the world.

# Event tickets available: 1, 6 million tickets

# Volunteers supporting the sport: 25,000 volunteers are supporting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic event (approximated figure)

# Athletes and officials attending competition: More than 5,500 Olympic athletes and officials (approximated figure)

# Countries participating in the sport event:  82 countries have qualified athletes and are attending the event.

# Accredited media representatives:  10,000 media representatives have been accredited for different events during the Olympic Games (approximated figure)

# Medal events during the competition: 86 medal awarding events held during the 16th days of competition.

$ Sport event operating cost: $ 1, 76 billion estimated costs

$ Sport event security costs:  $ 900 million estimated costs

$ Athletes accomodation facilities development cost:  $ 167 million estimated cost of the Vancouver Olympic Village

$ Venues renovation costs:  $ 365 million estimated renovation cost of the Olympic venue

# Distance travelled by the Olympic torch:  45,000 kilometers across Canada

# Olympic torch bearers: 12,000 Canadians were given the occasion to bear the Olympic torch

# Olympic torch  relay duration:  106 days.

As we can acknowledge from the figures listed above the organization of an Olympic Games edition implies a great effort and resource allocation. However its success can be determined with precision only at its end, and what we have presented above is just a fraction of the performance indicators that can portrait a sport event. For more performance measures from sport management industry visit the database.

Additional resources:


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