A case of leveraging a mega-sport event for a sport tourism legacy: A prospective longitudinal case study of Whistler Adaptive Sports

Tracey J. Dickson, Simon Darcy, Chelsey Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Sport participation legacies are often offered as reasons to host mega-sport events, yet there is little evidence to demonstrate the claim’s legitimacy, thus we examine “What did Whistler Adaptive Sport (WAS) do to leverage the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to facilitate a sport tourism legacy?”. Through a prospective longitudinal case study of WAS and application of the temporal extension of the socioecological framework, multiple data sources were analyzed from over a decade beginning before the event until 2019. The findings reveal the situated and embedded nature of mega-sport event legacies i.e., context. These depend upon a network of facilitators such as local, provincial, and federal policies; pre-event and post-event vision and strat-egies from local communities and sport organizations; the development of a pool of willing and flexible volunteers. Together these were strategically leveraged to overcome sport participation and sport tourism barriers for people with disabilities. The sport, tourism, and sport tourism experience reflected Whistler’s natural and infrastructure advantage and the needs and desires of locals and visitors with access needs that could not have occurred without the capital injection of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Leveraging the mega-sport event opportunities required leadership and a strategic vision for repositioning to a year-round program. This strategic change also opened new sport and sport tourism opportunities for current participants but importantly brought new participants and their friendship groups to Whistler over the post-event decade for year-round sustainable adaptive sport opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Legacy
  • Mega-sport event
  • Paralympic
  • Sport participation
  • Sustainability

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