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The Impact of International Mega-Sporting Events Oh Host Cities

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Impact of mega-sporting events 1

The impact of international mega-sporting events oh host cities

Regina Glazman
ARW2 for law students

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While a mega-sport event is scheduled at least once every year somewhere in the world, these events are rare occurrences for the host cities and countries. The benefits of such events seem lucrative; the very fact that many countries bid to host these events suggests that the benefits – be they tangible or intangible – more often than not outweigh the costs. However, some experts claim that it is almost impossible to achieve goal and provide a successful result. Therefore, the research question is : Do cities benefit from international mega-sporting events or it is just "showing-off"? When a city or nation is awarded the privilege of hosting a mega event, they are almost always required to enhance or develop their infrastructure. The developments which are created from these events are known as legacies. However, these legacies have a great risk to become "white elephants" ( Barclay, 2009,p.3). Thereupon, my research project was directed to understand do facilities in Almaty which were built for 2011 Asian Winter Games are used today and provide help for national athletes and the city. Result showed they do, but not without problems. However, legacies can come in many forms such as economic, tourism or sporting. Consequently, summarizing everything I have and answering on the main question it is clear that it is possible to achieve the best and positive outcome from hosting a mega event ,but a well-considered and actual legacy plan is essential to providing long term benefits for the local and wider communities.

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Can you imagine that since the Modern Olympics began in 1896, there have been 27 summer Olympic Games held in 22 different cities and 22 Winter Olympic Games held in 19 different cities? When Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Games, thousands of jubilant Brazilians danced on Copacabana Beach and the news made headlines around the world. Chicago’s failed bid for the same games reportedly cost that city about $100 million (Zimbalist, 2010). So why do countries place so much value on hosting the Olympics or similar mega sporting events? First of all, mega sport events can be described as events, which are so large in scale they have the ability to affect the host city as well as nations’ whole economies and reverberate throughout the global media (Zimbalist , 2010). The number of countries and cities that want to host these kinds of sport competitions is increasing. Obviously, the reason for this is that mega-sporting events may bring a major number of short-term and long-term economic benefits to the hosting area. Various Universiades and the European, Worlds, etc. attract attention for world investment and tourist community (Ransberg & Vidishcheva, 2014). Such events brings great attention to the host as it is put under the media spotlight, allowing the host to develop and transform its infrastructure, not only to attract the massive influx of visitors but to create a possessive destination which will provide a continually legacy for future generations (Zimbalist, 2010). "Noted as being the ‘model’ Olympic Games, Barcelona 1992 transformed the city into one of the most vibrant and popular tourist destinations in Europe" (Cashman, 2002,p.5). Moreover, mega-sporting events create opportunities for the construction of new sporting facilities .However, there is a great risk that infrastructure for mega-events will not be used and can become “white elephants”(Barclay, 2009, p.2). But on the other hand , some alleged that the net costs of mega-events far outweigh its net benefits and affect various aspects of the local daily life such as housing, employment, leisure, transport, taxes, human rights and democratic
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participation. Many states face underestimation of expenses. For instance, Montreal hosted the Summer Games. After city officials projected the games would cost $124 million, Montreal incurred a debt of $2.8 billion, or about $10 billion in 2009 dollars, which took three decades to pay off. (Zimbalist, 2010). Therefore, my research question is : do cities really benefit from mega-sporting events? “Are the Games 'fool’s gold' or a lottery jackpot?"(Barclay, 2009, p.1). Despite the fact that it is interesting and cognitive topic, moreover , it is very familiar to me because I have been skating for 13 years and I am a national champion in figure skating. I was representative of Almaty in Kuala Lumpur as a professional athlete in the final countdown to 2022 Winter Olympic vote. Therefore, I know that the impact of a mega-events on host cities is a matter of continuing debate and controversy between people. The majority are only indirectly consulted as to whether they want their city to bid for a sport competitions. While others even provide opposition to an Olympic Games and even organize protest movements. I think my research could be useful at least in order to abridge future debates. In order to find the answer on the main question I have read 7 articles. A lot of issues were raised and negotiated. According to Gerard and Santo (n.d), Barclay (2009) the major potential gain from hosting international sport events can transform cities to bustling tourism hot spots and impact the local community for many generations to come. Mega events affect not just the local economy, but produce international interest for the host nation, allowing for many direct and indirect impacts. Secondly, another important financial surplus after the events, largely because of the television and mass media contracts (Florida, 2015). In contrast, Zimbalist (2010) maintain reality departs from theory. For example, sometimes countries run into heavily debts and it takes years to repay. This coupled with worse off result of an events for underclass or homeless people (Cashman, 2002). Reading materials for my project, I perceive that every author mentioned point about legacies. As an illustration, Cashman (2002) wrote the Olympics
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have the ability to produce legacies such as regenerated urban areas, built new facilities, inspire the youth to participate in sport and create employment both pre and post event. However, the success of these events, are dependent on the needs of the host community. "It is crucial that when mega events are staged, a framework is in place to ensure that only positive legacies are produced to benefit the host community" (Ransberger &Vidishcheva,2014, p.3). Unfortunately, the Olympics bring great expense which is normally utilized by the many benefits that come from in the form of short term economic gain and legacies. However, there have been examples of failure to achieve positive legacies from mega events, namely Montreal 1976 and Athens 2004 (Ransberger&Vidishcheva,2014). With this in mind ,I decided to use two methods of study to explore the issue about post-event use of new facilities as much as possible. Methods are interviews and a survey among athletes and different heads of winter sport federations. As we know, the 7th Asian Winter Games took place in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2011. It was the first time that Kazakhstan hosted such a large event since independence from the Soviet Union. Some new infrastructures were built and, moreover, a lot of facilities were reconstructed. So my research question was: Do 2011 Asian Winter Games constructions are really used today and provide help for national athletes and the city? I though it is a best way to know what is going on. Because competitors (particular from national teams ) are training every day and only they know exactly where they have practices, in which conditions and maybe, where they want to. For athletes I am conducted a survey. On the other hand, I interviewed heads of winter sport federations. Due to their posts/positions it was interesting to hear their opinions and compare them with athletes’ thoughts. I was surprised to notice that in my survey none of sport group answered "Yes" on 100% on question about conditions of current practice place . However, it was great to notice everyone have ever competed in constructions which were built for 2011 Asian Winter Games .
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Results showed they are working and athletes can practice there. One of the most important questions was about price for training places. Unbelievable, that hockey players and speed skaters do not pay anything, while all figure skaters have to do this. Furthermore, ski jumpers and speed skinners almost do not pay anything too. To be honest, as a figure skater I did not expect to see these answers because I thought that all athletes have approximately the same conditions. However, interviews have explained most. For example, Urii Petrovich ( vice- president of figure skating discipline ) said that in fact there are as lot of ice rinks where athletes can skate, however it is an individual sport. Therefore, our national team members have their own coaches, so it is a problem to combine everyone on the one ice. From the last analyses that were made answering on my sub-questions: Yes, they are used. However, every discipline has their own "but". Nevertheless I am very happy that Kazakhstani sport is developing and government try to do all the best for humans in sport disciplines and country’s / cities` economic. As an evidence that host cities do not have serious problems after 2011 Asian Winter Games can be that Almaty is hosting 2017 Winter Universiade with new constructions and even bit for 2022 Olympic Games. Thus, the research was successfully done and using the methods mentioned above I found the answer to my main question and now I can summarize my thesis statement: hosting a mega- sport competition is a difficult ongoing process and in order to avoid obtain unsuccessful result government have to make perfect and objective plan where every detail will be considered. Only in this case the city will achieve all goals and receive a lot of different benefits which were mention at the beginning. However, people cannot fully base on my research, because there are opinions of small part of athletes and federations and I did not explore all exist articles. Moreover, from the researches that I have done following questions might occur: Why some

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countries do perfect considered plan and as a result has successful conducted event, while others make impermissible mistakes? Where do they have this gap or what do they miss?

Literature review Mega sports events have grown tremendously over the last several decades, acquiring the potential for enormous impact, both positive and negative, in a wide range of areas. The strategy of hosting big events is used to attract various visitors in the hope that this will lead to an improvement in the destination’s public image. In addition to attracting audiences and opinion leaders, spotlight events focus the media's attention on a particular location for a short, concentrated period, allowing the host destination to promote certain chosen images that can serve to improve a negative image, create positive news, and shift international media attention from a negative to a positive portrayal of the destination.Consequently, the mega-sport events ,especially, Olympics are a critical opportunity either for development or for exploitation, and the choice is made in policy decisions. While working on this project I have found a lot of information from available Internet resources. I divided articles into two groups. Four out of seven are more general, while other three are focus on particular great competitions. The first group ( general) include Andrew Zimbalist`s (2010) article. He is a sport economist. This article was focused on potential benefits and downside aspect about hosting such big events. His article like a short but sufficient analysis of the pitfalls of a city or country hosting the mega-events. Zimbalist offers a compelling case for why mega-sporting events are good economic deals for the host cities. He explains the reasons for notable exceptions like Barcelona and Los Angeles:"a central feature of the Barcelona experience is that the plan preceded the games, and hence the games were put at the service of the preexisting plan, rather than the typical pattern of the city development plan being up at the service of the games"(Zimbalist, 2010,p.2). On the other hand, he shows how hosting the Olympics sometimes does not increase tourism as often expected and exacerbates the upward redistribution of wealth (particularly with regard to gentrification of neighborhoods). He explains the flaws of the ex ante job growth forecasts, noting the many flawed assumptions they make. Jonathan Barcley ( 2009) and Gerard&Santo (n.d) also cover the different general arising questions. For instance, are local taxes being increased to pay for the new infrastructure? Will the Olympics displace poor people or disrupt their neighborhoods? If the costs of staging the Games continues to grow, will cities in developing nations ever be able to host the Games? etc.(Barcley, 2009). The main part in Barcley`s article is about cost-benefit analysis and impact studies. Despite economic benefits the author observes a substantial risk. Furthermore, Gerard& (n.d.) noted that the IOC’s Olympic Games Study Commission examined the issue of gigantism and concluded that it was time to manage the growth of the Games to preserve their attractiveness. All of this is part of the broader context for understanding the political economy of the Olympics. In addition, Ransberg and Vidishcheva ( 2014) argue that improvement of host country image is a major potential benefit of organising mega sports events. However, it is necessary to understand which aspects of the event are likely to influence image change. According to Ransberg and Vidishcheva ( 2014) mega sports event growth may be attributed to three main reasons: 1) modern technologies of mass communication that reach the entire world population; 2) the formation of a sport-media-business alliance that transformed professional sport in the late 20th century; and 3) the wide range of benefits that these mega events offer to host cities, regions and countries. They describe as the “holy trinity of mega events benefits”: economic growth, infrastructure legacies and image promotion (Ransberg&Vidishcheva,2014).Economic benefits are most often used to justify hosting a mega sports event . However, economic benefits are difficult to predict and are thus somewhat of a risky justification. To sum up, 4 previous articles were focused on pros and cons of hosting international competitions. Moreover, every author mention something new. For example, Zimbalist (2010) and Barclay (2009) have very similar information, however Ziimbalist (2010) mentioned that sometimes cities has to incurred debts and as an Example took Montreal with $2.8 billion debt, whereas Barclay (2009) added data about congestion in cities during events what may dissuade regular non-interested tourists from visiting the city. The second group is articles which centralized researches more on particular examples. Richard Florida`s (2015) provides the reader with interview with famous person, who have been already mentioned before -Andrew Zimbalist. In an interview with Zimbalist , Florida (2015) gets Zimbalist to talk more about why sports have grown in importance culturally throughout the world. As an example of mega sporting events Zimbalist took Los Angeles 1984 and Barcelona 1992. Mostly, the paper describes why boosters’ ex ante estimates of the economic impact of large sporting events tend to exaggerate the net economic benefits of these events and surveys the results of a large number of ex post studies of exploring the true impact of mega-events. The next article deals with the influence of great sports events to the economy of specific countries. Richard Cashman is associate professor of history and director of the centre for Olympic studies at the University of New South Wales. Cashman ( 2002) describes the impact of the Games on Olympic host cities. He argues the impact can be divided into four separate periods. Moreover, Cashman(2002) claims that there are a wide range of views about the impact of the Olympic Games on host cities. Some consider that the Games are a worthwhile investment in the global future of a city whereas others regard such a commitment as problematic because the Games have become too large and costly. There has also been discussion about whether there is adequate consultation of the host community before a bid is launched and whether hosting the Games leads to an erosion of human rights in the host city. To exemplify these things, Cashman (2002) provides the example of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It was a very good example because author explained well every period of Sydney Olimpics. Despite benefits, he illustrates lack with community anti-Olympic lobbies and the size of legacy issues. Zimbalist ( 2010) wrote about why hosting the big Games is an honor many countries aspire to. He provides information which is similar in some ways to Barclay (2009) and Ransberg and Vidishcheva ( 2014). They all give careful consideration to a problem and answer on the question : "are the games 'fool`s gold' or a lottery jackpot?"( Barclay, 2009). Authors explained that many economists are skeptical about the economic benefits of hosting the Olympic Games, emphasizing that such mega-events often have large costs while yielding relatively few tangible benefits in the long run. Conversely, hosting (or even bidding for) the Olympics appears to increase the host country's exports, as the host or candidate country sends a signal about trade openness when bidding to host the Games. Moreover, Zimbalist (2010) and Barclay (2009) argue that in order to have economical benefits from large competitions host cities need to maximize post event use of new facilities. Nevertheless, only Barclay mentioned very interesting fact -" that most of the studies have been completed after the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, which was the first to make a substantial profit" ( Barclay, 2009,p. 5). In comparison, with Zimbalist(2010) and Barcley (2009), Ransberg and Vidishcheva ( 2014) gave not deep explanations and examples as previous authors did. Therefore, Ransberg and Vidishcheva`s ( 2014) source is less persuasive. Despite the fact that I have two articles with the same authors- Andrew Zimbalist, where the first one is written by Zimbalist and in the second Florida (2015) interviewed Zimbalist, they have absolutely different content. It would seems that they are almost similar due to information received from the same person, however, the second one is more focuses on Zimbalist`s research of main problems for particular event, while the first covers all main questions on which he finds answers. Moreover, as Florida (2015) Cashman`s (2002) article also considers an impact only of the one competition on host city - of the Sydney 2000 Olympics Games. In comparable, Cashman (2002) provide wider information about Games than Florida (2015) about the Super Bowl. There much more examples and explanations in Cashman`s article which are very important in order to answer on my research question. Consequently, his studies are very important and persuasive. Gerard and Santo (n.d.) and Ransberg and Vidishcheva ( 2014) published their articles in famous journals .They cover almost all difficulties events faced with. Despite the fact that Ransberg and Vidishcheva ( 2014), Gerard and Santo (n.d.) wrote less data than Zimbalist (2010) and Barclay (2009), there are still a lot of evidence. In 2005, for example, the Travel Industry Association of America reported that "domestic and international travel added $650 billion to the U.S. economy, generating 8 million jobs, $171 billion in payroll income, and $105 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues"(Gerard&Santo,n.d.,p.2). Consequently, it is no wonder that cities, states, and the federal government encourage tourism development. Moreover, only Gerard&Santo (n.d) presented the table of Olympic global broadcast revenues. The impact of a mega-events on host cities is a matter of continuing debate and controversy between people. There are many continuing issues and questions about the impact of the events. The majority are only indirectly consulted as to whether they want their city to bid for a sport competitions. While others even provide opposition to an Olympic Games and even organize protest movements ( Cashman, 2002). It is clear that mega-sporting events are extremely liable toless-than-accurate sporting impact studies. These analyses may overstate benefits, understate costs and misuse multipliers. Opportunity cost remains a vital problem, but this has not stopped events such as the Olympics becoming a new panacea for economic and urban development. And while certain benefits can be had from hosting sporting events, they are accompanied by large caveats. Undoubtedly, hosting international sport events are very costly, but in order to prevent financial losses and have a successful result host cities need to make careful land use decision and they should maximize post event use of new and renovated facilities and infrastructure. As a result, I think my research could abridge future debates.

Data and Methodology Section Mega-sporting events create opportunities for the construction of new sporting facilities as well as the improvement of the physical environment of the host city. The staging of multi-sporting events such as the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games often involves the building of new sporting facilities or the restructuring of existing for the organizers to be able to satisfy the requirements of staging multiple sports in a short period of time (Barclay, 2009). The extent to which the facilities are used in the future is extremely important, especially the newly constructed sports stadia. Therefore, there is a great risk, especially for developing countries that infrastructure for mega-events will not be used and can become “white elephants”(Barclay, 2009, p.2). Nevertheless, city governments always claim that this sides will become not only tourist attraction but also future help for growing athletes , but in reality sometimes such locations do not provide any support for sport professionals. As we know, the 7th Asian Winter Games took place in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2011. It was the first time that Kazakhstan hosted such a large event since independence from the Soviet Union. A lot of new sport complexes were built, more were reconstructed . Following this , my research question is : Do 2011 Asian Winter Games constructions are really used today and provide help for national athletes and the city?
To answer on my question I did a survey and an interview among athletes and different heads of winter sport federations. I think it is a best way to know what is going on. Because competitors are training every day and only they know exactly where they have practices, in which conditions and maybe, where they want to. For athletes I conducted a survey. I asked figure skaters, ski jumpers, hockey players, speed skiing athletes and speed skaters .All of them are particular from national teams because only national teams must have best conditions for training process. Luckily, guys from the teams are usually have same age (14-23+), consequently I questioned everyone. In order to do the survey, I have come on athletes` trainings and invite them to participate in my questionnaire. Some of them was too busy , so I sent them my survey by emails to make it more comfortable. From my point of view, the survey was more effective and time saving than interview . On the other hand, I asked heads of winter sport federations. Due to their positions it was interesting to hear their opinions and compare them with athletes thoughts. However, for officials of federations I cannot did a survey because it would disrespectful and less effective. Therefore , it was an interview. Basically, officials do not have much time, for that reason, the interview was in heads` offices by appointment and took approximately 10-15 minutes. In addition, I was recording everything on my phone, but of course, only after permission. Therefore, I have listened their interviews again and again so it was much easier to realized and understand the whole information.
Questions for survey: 1. Have you participated in 2011 Asian Winter Games? ( Yes / No) 2. Do you have a good conditions for your trainings ? ( Yes / No) 3. Do government allow use facilities which were built or reconstructing for 2011 Asian Winter Games? ( Yes / No) 4. How many times per week ? ( .......) 5. Do you pay for a place where you are practice ? ( Yes / No) 6. Apart from 2011 Asian Winter Games, have you ever competed in constructions which were built for these Games? ( Yes/ No) 7. Do facilities for particular competitions work the whole year? ( Yes/ No) 8. Do 2011 Asian Winter Games` constructions are in conditions which they were several years ago? ( Yes/ No) 9. Do common people use facilities for 2011 Asian Winter Games? ( Yes/ No) 10. What are the pros and cons of place where you are practice now ? ( open ended question)
Russian translation :
1.Принимали ли вы участие в Зимних Азиатских играх в 2011г.? ( да/нет)
2. Устраивают ли вас условия для тренировок на данный момент ? (да/нет)
3. Разрешает ли правительство использовать для тренировок сооружения , которые были построены или реконструированы для Зимних Азиатских игр в 2011?( да/нет)
4. Сколько раз в неделю ? (.....)
5. Если вы ответили да на 3-ий вопрос , платите ли вы за помещение , в котором тренируетесь ? ( да/нет)
6. Не считая Зимних Азиатских игр в 2011, соревновались ли вы когда нибудь в сооружениях , которые были построены для данных соревнований ? ( да/нет)
7. Сооружения которые были построены для Зимних Азиатских игр в 2011 работают весь год?
8. Постройки и реконструированные сооружения для Зимних Азиатских игр в 2011 находятся в таком же состоянии , что и в 2011г.? ( да/нет)
9. Могут ли обычные люди пользоваться этими сооружениями , т.е. Есть ли у них возможность просто придти и потренироваться для себя ? ( да/ нет)
10. Какие плюсы и минусы того места, где вы сейчас тренируетесь?

Questions for semi-structured interview: 1. How do you think, do athletes from our national team training in good conditions ? 2. Do they use 2011 Asian Winter Games facilities? If no, why ? 3. Do facilities for particular competitions work the whole year? If no, why ? 4. Do athletes pay for trainings there? 5. Do common people use facilities for 2011 Asian Winter Games? 6. Please tell some negative aspects about 2011 Asian Winter Games` facilities? 7. Which benefits 2011 Asian Winter Games` constructions are bring?
Russian translation : 1. Как вы думаете, наши спортсмены тренируются в хороших условиях? 2. Используются ли сооружения для для Зимних Азиатских игр в 2011? Если нет, то почему? 3. Работают ли эти сооружения круглый год? Если нет, то почему? 4. Платят ли спортсмены за место, где они тренируются? 5. Могут ли обычные люди использовать сооружения для Зимних Азиатских игр в 2011? 6. Расскажите о негативных аспектах этих сооружений ? 7. А так же о положительных моментах ?

Results and Analysis The concept of the legacy of mega sporting events appeared within sport management during the 1990s, when questions about the costs and benefits of organizing them were first raised from not only the financial and economic point of views but also with respect to social and environmental aspects (Cashman, 2002). This is when the word “legacy” started to appear in the mega sporting event organizers' and owners’ discourse and literature. Many authors have attempted to categorize the various types of legacy. One of them is physical infrastructure because mega-sporting events create opportunities for the construction of new sporting facilities as well as the improvement of the physical environment of the host city. However, sometimes they are not used and not provide any support for growing athletes after the big competitions and become spending of money. And this is one of the biggest problem host cities face with in the post-event period. In 2011 Almaty and Astana host , the 7th Asian Winter Games . Some new infrastructures were built and , moreover, a lot of facilities were reconstructed. Following this , my research is based on one question : Do 2011 Asian Winter Games constructions are really used today and provide help for national athletes and the city? To answer on my question I did a survey among 60 athletes from winter sports national teams. They include: 15 figure skaters, 12 ski jumpers, 20 hockey players, 8 speed skiing athletes and 5 speed skaters. These questionnaires contained both open and closed questions. Moreover, to receive more information for my project I decided to interview different heads of winter sport federations. Three structured interviews were conducted, in order to find is there are similar opinions between athletes and heads of federations or as was mentioned before reality sometimes different from government's words. The results of the survey are presented first, followed by a description of the results of the five interviews, highlighting connections between them and the more qualitative results of the survey. The very first question in my survey was about participation in 2011Asian Winter Games. About 41% of the survey respondents participated there . This helped a lot because not only new professional athletes gave their opinion about Kazakhstani sport facilities but people who have seen and tried this constructions initially. The table below illustrates and compare athletes responses on the most important questions in percentage. I exclude general questions about gender and age because in my research it does not play a role. It was interesting to notice that none of sport group answered "Yes" on 100% on question about conditions of current practice place . Conversely, figure skaters said "No" on 100%. The most satisfied are ski jumpers, hockey players and speed skinners. They have almost similar results . However, speed skaters are agree with figure skaters and their affirmative answers make only 10%. More impressive was to note that everyone knew that sports competitions ( other than Asian Games) were held in these places. As it is seen in table one everyone have ever competed in constructions which were built for Games. It illustrates that all facilities are work, however government does not allow to use it always as a training place. This can be seen proceeding from the following results: despite the fact that all hockey players, speed skaters and speed skinners answered "yes", figure skaters and ski jumpers gave also negative answers. Among skaters 40% said "no", among ski jumpers only 25%. Unexpectedly results gave question about price for training places: hockey players and speed skaters do not pay anything, while all figure skaters have to do this. Furthermore, ski jumpers and speed skinners almost do not pay anything too. However, sometimes they do pay, if they ask additions hours for trainings. I was very surprised with this number of figure skaters who are pay for facilities, whereas hockey players using the same placements do not pay anything. Consequently , the big question arised - why? It is good if facilities used for 100% for competitions and almost always allowed to use for practices. But on the other hand, it is unfair, that someone have to pay for it and someone not. Due to my last question (open-ended) about pros and cons for current practice place, it become clear that skaters unsatisfied with price. The majority of them gave similar answers : sometimes not everyone can pay themselves for training place, coaches , etc., moreover, it is does not allow to develop this sport discipline. In addition, hockey players provided funny answers. For instance, they unsatisfied to practice in the early morning because security always sleep on the work place, therefore it is very hard to get keys from changing rooms. Ski jumpers claims that sometimes in the evenings they cannot train due to lack with lights. Consequently, it is not a problem to be injured. One of the major pros of all facilities is comfortable location. All ice rinks are in the center of the city. Though, ski-jump and ice rink for speed skating in the mountains , it is still available and not time-consuming. Above all, hockey Athletes` responses | Athletes have good conditions for trainings Yes No | Government allow use facilities which were built or reconstructing for 2011 Asian Winter Games Yes No | Apart from 2011 Asian Winter Games, have athletes ever competed in constructions which were built for these Games Yes No | Do athletes pay for a place where they are practice Yes No | Figure skaters | ___ 100% | 60% 40% | 100% ____ | 100% ____ | Hockey players | 60% 40% | 100% ____ | 100% ____ | ____ 100% | Ski jumpers | 70% 30% | 75% 25% | 100% ____ | 5% 95% | Speed skaters | 10% 90% | 100% ____ | 100% ____ | ____ 100% | Speed skiing | 65% 35% | 100% ____ | 100% ____ | 7% 93% | players, ski jumpers and speed skiing gave very similar answers while figure skating discipline completely differed. Almost in all indications skaters have opposite opinions.
Table 1. Athletes` opinions about sport facilities
The pie chart No.2 shows the majority are assure that 2011 Asian Games constructions are in the same conditions which they were several years ago. Probably, this connecting with the fact that more than 70% answered "No" on question about do common people ( not professional athletes) use facilities for 2011 Asian Winter Games. Humans can go and practice in these facilities ,however, only couple hours per week or cannot use them at all. Due to not regular common people`s use , luckily , facilities stay as originally in good conditions.

Figure 2.

Interviews among heads of different sport disciplines
Leaders of federations are important components in evaluating the helping factors of 2011 Asian Winter Games sport facilities. These interview were conducted in Almaty in March 2016 among three heads of Figure Skating Federation, Ski Jumping Federation, and the Hockey Federation. All of them gave very positive answers on my questions. Urii Nikolaevich (general director of hockey federation ) and Andrey Verveikin ( head of ski jumping federation) said that they are very glad that government gave opportunities to use constructions. Urii Nikolaevich added that they can even choose where to skate due to diversity of ice rinks. In compare, ski jumpers cannot choose where to practice, because in Kazakhstan only one ski-jump. Moreover, there is one major problem that spring-board work fully only in winter. However, according to Andrey Verveikin " despite some cons ,our athletes have the unique chance because Almaty ski-jump one of the best in the world according to the sport association"( personal communication, March 17, 2016). This brings some problems and athletes in summer have to go abroad on camps for trainings. Urii Petrovich ( vice- president of figure skating discipline ) said that " in fact there are as lot of ice rinks where athletes can skate, however it is an individual sport. Therefore, our national team members have their own coaches. Consequently, it is a problem to combine everyone on the one ice because every skaters have their own training plan. We cannot pay for the ice for everyone , it is very expensive. So for skaters in this way it is the hardest discipline" (personal communication, March 13, 2016). This explains the previous results of survey, especially, why skaters have to pay for the ice. Furthermore, every leader mentioned that athletes have great conditions due to comfortable changing rooms and warm-up halls. Moreover, serving equipment are great. From all the analyses that were made, I want to summarize that answering on my questions : do 2011 Asian Winter Games constructions are really used today and provide help for national athletes and the city? Yes, they are used. However, every discipline has their own "but". In addition, there are more pros than cons because facilities are used. Following my research , I made a conclusion which illustrates that cons are not connected with facilities, they connected with other problems like : technical equipments or government do not share the time for practices right, and finally, not all serving staff are professionals. To conclude, I am very satisfied and happy that Kazakhstani sport facilities which were built for 2011 Asian Winter Games are used, moreover, Almaty is hosting 2017 Winter Universiade with new constructions and even bit for 2022 Olympic Games. This is one more evidence that the idea and major point that every sport facility is working and in a good conditions. As was mentioned before by every author in my literature review the main problem is that infrastructure for mega-events can become “white elephants” in a post-event period. And my research was made in order to understand do Kazakhstan face this problem .Luckily, Kazakhstan does not make this mistake.

My research question was : do cities really benefit from hosting international mega-sporting events? The literature review indicate that hosting events is a popular strategy among marketers of places that suffer from an immediate or a prolonged image crisis. Moreover, these events can help in difficult mission to market a place which suffer from stereotypes, generalizations and negative labeling. Mega-sport events can apparently help to improve a destination's negative image, but it cannot serve as a magic potion. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that the decision to host an event depends on how the event is managed. Local government should remember that despite benefits an event can also carry negative consequences for the destination's inhabitants. Therefore , the “strategic plan” , especially for legacies , is very important for the feasibility of hosting an event and in the post-event period. The conduct of the event must be highly professional, otherwise the place's image may be damaged further. The conclusion is that city wishing to host an event must do so in the best way possible, and also make sure the event will promote the true deep-rooted values of the place, not just surface glitter, otherwise, an event may improve the destination’s image for a short while, but this might not last long. As was mention, legacies , specifically sport legacies , one of the most important components .Fortunately, my own results showed that new and reconstructed facilities in Almaty which were built for 2011 Asian Winter Games are fully worked today and help future generation. Moreover, they are still in good conditions they were several years ago. In 10 moths Almaty host Winter Universiade which according to "Astana Calling" magazine hopefully , will bring a lot of benefits in the future. As I am participated myself in this Universiade it was really important for me to discover how mega sport events influence oh host city and citizens. Furthermore, people usually argue that hosting such events helps only for involved athletes , where others just have to pay more taxes for everything and etc. Therefore, my research is very helpful for understanding how do city and country benefit from events and why sometimes it is essential. The research could abridge further debates between people. I think this topic is also interesting for others because all people are living in different cities and today almost every country want to host mega- events, therefore people should know why city or country want to conduct such competitions and be for it.

Appendix A: Letter of Consent
Regina Glazman Almaty, Kazakhstan
I am a first year student of KIMEP University conducting the research project for Academic Reading and Writing II course. The topic which I selected to research is about impact of mega sporting events on host cities. This theme actual for today and its research is important, because in recent years cities have competed vigorously for the right to host mega-events. Moreover, cities that host this events must commit a significant investment into sport stadia and other miscellaneous infrastructure. As we know, the 7th Asian Winter Games took place in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2011. It was the first time that Kazakhstan hosted such a large event since independence from the Soviet Union. Therefore, in this project I am trying to find out do 2011 Asian Winter Games constructions are really used today and provide help for national athletes and the city? So, I invite you to take part in this investigation and answer to some questions. I will be very glad for your participation, because your responding would help to achieve the main goal of this project. I assure that your privacy will be protected by using pseudonyms, if you would like to stay anonymous. Thank you for your participation in this study. Please, put your signature below in order to confirm your agreement. Signature : Date:

Письменное соглашение Регина Глазмана
Алматы, Казахстан Я, студентка II курса Университета КИМЭП пишу исследовательский проект по предмету Академическое Чтение и Письмо II. Тема проекта является влияние крупных спортивных соревнований на принимающий город.. Это тема очень актуальна и важна на сегодняшний день, потому с каждым годом конкуренция за право проводить такие масштабные мероприятия увеличивается. Более того, устраивая такие мероприятия города, которые принимают эти соревнования , вкладывают большие инвестиции, особенно для спортивных сооружений. Как мы знаем, 7-е азиатские Зимние игры проходили в Астане и Алматы, Казахстан в 2011. Это был первый раз, когда Казахстан организовал такое большое мероприятие начиная с независимости после Советского Союза. Поэтому, в этом проекте я попытаюсь ответить на следующий вопрос: Действительно ли сооружения, которые были построены и реконструированы для 7-ых Зимних Азиатских Игр используются сегодня и приносят пользу развивающимся спортсменам и городу? Поэтому я буду очень рада, если Вы примете участие и ответите на некоторые вопросы. Ваши ответы могут помочь мне в достижении главной цели проекта. Я уверяю, что Ваша конфиденциальность будет защищена с помощью псевдонима, если вы хотели бы остаться анонимным. Спасибо за Ваше участие в этом исследовании. Пожалуйста, распишитесь ниже, для того, чтобы подтвердить свое согласие.
Дата :

Barclay, J. (June,2009). Prediction the costs and benefits of mega-sporting events: misjudgment of Olympic proportions. Institute of economic affairs,29 (2), 62-66.. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)
Cashman, R. (2002). Impact of the Games on Olympic host cities. Centre d’Estudis Olímpics, 1-16. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.).
Florida, R. ( January 29, 2015). Never host a mega-event? The Atlantic CityLab. Retrieved from
n.d., ( February, 2016). President Nazarbayev Reviews Almaty Universiade Preparations. Astana Calling. Retrieved from
Ransberg,M.,&Vidishcheva,V.E.(2014). Economic Effect of Global Sports Events. European Journal of Physical Education and Spor, 1(3),59-63. doi: 10.13187/issn.2310-0133. Retrieved from
Santo,A.,& Mildner,C.S.G. (n.d). Political economy and the Olympic Games.[ Excerpts]. Sport and Public policy. Retrieved from
Zimbalist , A. ( March, 2010). Is it worth it ? Finance& Development, 47(1), 1-4. Retrieved from /external/pubs/ft/fandd/2010/03/pdf/zimbalist.pdf

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