Tokyo 2020 Olympics sustainability: An elusive concept or reality?

Sylvia Trendafilova*, Walker J. Ross, Stavros Triantafyllidis, Jamee Pelcher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Olympic Games continue to be a creator of adverse environmental impacts for host communities. Given the role that the Olympic Games play in sustainability due to their size, the number of people attending, new construction and infrastructure, and the extensive exposure by the media, this study investigated the Tokyo 2020 Games by evaluating the efficacy of their ecological sustainability efforts. Methods for this study were framed by the conceptual model of Müller et al. Specifically, the model is grounded on the three general aspects of sustainability: ecological, social, and economic. Compared to all Olympic events from 1992 through 2020, results from the present research indicated that Tokyo 2020 Olympics may have been the most ecologically friendly Games. This ecological record is significant, but it may be an unrealistic benchmark, given that the lack of attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic influenced much of the ecological sustainability scores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-490
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • environmental assessment
  • olympic games
  • sport ecology
  • sustainability


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