Heritage of 2014 Winter Olympics in sochi: sociological analysis

PhD, Associate Professor A.R. Galeev1
Dr.Sc.Soc., Professor N.V. Dulina2
PhD, Associate Professor Ye.N. Ikingrin3
PhD, Associate Professor S.A. Davydova1
PhD, Associate Professor Yu.V. Korichko1
Dr.Hab., Professor L.I. Lubysheva4
1Nizhnevartovsk State University, Nizhnevartovsk
2Volgograd State University, Volgograd
3Nizhnevartovsk Branch, Russian Society of Sociologists, Nizhnevartovsk
4Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow

Keywords: 2014 Winter Olympic Games, sport, questionnaire, survey, doping, Russia’ cultural heritage

Background. It was for the first time in 1980 that our country hosted Olympic Games in Moscow, and the second chance came in 2014 with the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. We believe that the five-year anniversary of the XXII Winter Olympic Games is the appropriate time to analyze the questionnaire survey data mined in March-April 2014.

Objective of the study was to analyze the social heritage and values from the perspecitve of the five years since the 2014 (XXII) Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Methods and structure of the study. The questionnaire survey entitled ‘2014 (XXII) Winter Olympics and XI Winter Paralympics in Sochi Seen by Russian Eyes’ was initiated by the Russian Society of Sociologists [4, 5]. Sampled for the survey were the 16+ year old people (n=2,424, 40% males and 60% females) in 35 Russian cities. The sample was questioned at jobs and educational establishments, and the survey data were processed by Vortex software package.

Results and discussion. The total mass media coverage (including TV and digital media) was estimated at 102 thousand hours, with the Olympics reportedly watched by 4.1 billion people the world over i.e. half of the global population [2, 10]. The Russian sample reported being mostly (67.6%) enthusiastic about the great sports festival in the country; with little more than one of three (34.9%) reported to appreciate the fact that the Games were visited by people from every region of the country.

Furthermore, the survey found 42.5% of the sample contemplating on the outcomes and benefits of the Olympics in Sochi to appreciate the fact that Russia is ranked among the leading sport nations of the world. The 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee reported to distribute more than 1.1 million tickets. Competing in the Olympics for 98 sets of medals were 2,859 athletes from 88 countries [1, 3, 10].

Despite the fact that the Olympic accomplishments were questioned and revised due to the notorious doping scandal, the Russian team was still the first on the team success scoreboard. It should be mentioned that the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of mass doping at the Olympic Games, and the IOC deprived Russian athletes on this basis of eleven medals. In 2018, however, the Sports Arbitration Court (CAS) granted the appeals of 28 Russians to cancel their life suspensions from the Olympic Games and returned them seven medals won in the Olympic Games in Sochi [7-9].

The five-year anniversary of the XXII winter Olympic Games has not gone unnoticed: it was widely covered by special TV programs, and many mass sporting and entertainment events were timed to this date [9, 10]. During the 2014 Olympic Games, the Russian audience appreciated, as demonstrated by the questioning survey, the holiday atmosphere in the country cultivated by ambitious large-scale preparations including mass public awareness campaigns, Olympic festivals, torchlight marches to praise the Olympic movement etc.

The question ‘Who needs the Olympics’ was responded as follows: 59.5% of the sample said ‘The athletes who have trained hard for the event’; and the rest believed that the Games were the most important for the nation and its international image. More than a half of the sample (61.1%) was found to believe that the Olympics were beneficial for their positive health agenda and healthy lifestyle cultivation aspects. The Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies were rated excellent and good by most of the sample, with 53.1 and 34.3% of the sample reported to watch them, respectively.

Most popular OG sports were ranked as follows: figure skating (60.2% of the sample); biathlon (53.0%); and ice hockey (51.0%). Furthermore, most of the sample (62.0%) reported being impressed by the competitive spirit and willpower of the Olympians and Paralympians; with 36.6% reportedly fascinated by some of the prominent Olympians’’ sport careers.

The Sochi government made its presentation during the Olympics, and the respondents mentioned among one of the Olympic Games benefits the modern sports facilities believed to be a great social and sporting asset that should give a boost to the physical education and sport sector in the region and country on the whole. Of particular importance, in our opinion, is the fact that 70.5% of sample was enthusiastic to visit the post-Olympic Sochi to see the new sport infrastructure deployed for the XXII Winter Olympic Games.

Conclusion. We would rank highest the following aspects of the 2014 Olympic Games heritage:

  • The Olympic Games encouraged further commitment of the national population for the ideals of the Olympic movement as was verified by enthusiasm of volunteers, athletes and organizers of the Games, with the feelings shared by the supporters and their friends (59.9%), families (58.3%) and colleagues (28.8%); and
  • The Olympic Games impressed many people and changed their lives as demonstrated by the flow of photo- and video-reports in the social networks, comments and peaks in the online activity, with more than 2.2 million subscriptions on the websites covering the Olympic events.

References

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Corresponding author: korichko_nv@mail.ru

Abstract

It was for the first time in 1980 that our country hosted Olympic Games in Moscow, and the second chance came in 2014 with the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The article analyzes the questionnaire survey data on issues of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The survey showed multiple benefits of the 2014 Winter Olympics for the interregional and international cooperation projects and global image of the host city, region and country on the whole. Olympic Games hosting is always a great honor and responsibility for the country elected by the global communities. The first Olympics were hosted by the nation in the Soviet times and the second by the modern Russia. The new times and huge reforms for the period gave some reasons for doubts on whether or not the nation can cope with the top-ranking sport event hosting challenges. Nowadays, five years after the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, we have every reason to believe that Russia demonstrated great success and surprised the world by its new image, great opportunities, event design and management skills and technologies, and the genuine hospitality and friendliness. The questionnaire survey data showed that the top-ranking sport events like the 2014 Winter Olympic Games may give a great boost to the local and global health cultures of new generations, sport infrastructure development projects, and for the progress and global image of the host city and nation on the whole.