Why Great Britain’s success in Beijing could have been anticipated and why it should continue beyond 2012
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AbstractBackground: Home advantage in the summer Olympic Games is well known. What is not so well known is that countries that host the Olympic Games perform better in the games before and after the games in which they were hosts. Objective: To model/quantify the significance associated with these ‘‘hosting’’ effects and to explain the likely causes of Great Britain’s improved medals haul in Beijing, while examining implications for London 2012 and beyond. Results: Using all hosting cities/countries since World War II and analysing the number of medals awarded to competitors as a binomial proportion (p) response variable within a logit model, we identified a significant increase in the probability/odds of a country obtaining a medal in the Olympic Games before, during and after hosting the Olympics. Conclusions: Funding appears to be an important factor when explaining these findings. Almost all countries that have been awarded the games after World War II would appear to have invested heavily in sport before being awarded the games. A second factor in Great Britain’s success is the legacy of hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002 (a post-hosting games effect) that undoubtedly provided an infrastructure that benefited, in particular, cycling. Whether the International Olympics Committee either consciously or subconsciously take these factors into account is unclear when awarding the games to a city. What is clear is that based on these findings, Great Britain’s prospects of maintaining the Olympic success achieved in Beijing is likely to continue to London 2012 and beyond.
CitationBritish Journal of Sports Medicine, 43: 1108–1110
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine