Beyond the host nation: An investigation of trickle-down effects in the “Hometowns” of Canadian athletes who medalled at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Luke R. Potwarka*, Girish Ramchandani, Pablo Castellanos-García, Themistocles Kokolakakis, Georgia Teare, Kai Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research question
Can evidence of trickle-down-effects be observed among youth living in the hometowns of Canadian athletes that competed and/or won medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games?

Research methods
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) rates of male and female youth were extracted from the Canadian Community Health Survey (n > 1,000,000) for 110 health regions during the pre-Olympic (2009/2010), Olympic (2011/2012), and post-Olympic (2013/2014) year periods. The health regions were treated as panel units and, beyond Canadian athletes and medallists, the panel data analysis incorporated population size and previous Olympic hosting as control variables in the model.

Results and findings
The panel analysis revealed that the number of Canadian athletes representing youths’ hometowns at the London 2012 Olympic Games was negatively associated with LTPA rates when considering the full sample of youth, and male youth in particular. Interestingly however, winning medals (of any colour) was positively associated with hometown LTPA rates among the full sample of youth and male youth. Hometown population size was negatively associated with LTPA rates for the full sample of youth and female youth specifically. Winning a gold medal and hosting previous Olympic/Paralympic Games were not significantly associated with hometown LTPA rates when considering the full sample of youth or male and female youth separately.

Implications
Our study demonstrates a need for researchers and sport managers to consider the spatial reach and scope of trickle-down-effects beyond that which can occur within a host nation. These effects have the potential to be a global phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Early online date17 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

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