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Promoting Universal Attitude toward Diversity and Inclusion through the Olympics: Multinational Comparisons of Young Adults between London 2012 and Tokyo 2020

posted on 22.11.2021, 00:00 authored by Yuhei Inoue, Masayuki Yoshida, Steve SwansonSteve Swanson
The Olympic Games provide an important platform for promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I). This research project aimed to understand the role the Olympic Games can play in promoting universal attitudes toward D&I among young adults in host cities. Surveys were
administered to young adult residents (aged 18-25) of London in relation to the London 2012 Olympics as well as to those of Tokyo before and after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The results indicated that positive perceptions of two Olympic core values related to D&I existed for each set of respondents. Pre- and post-Olympic surveys in Tokyo further demonstrated that perceptions of both the two Olympic core values significantly increased because of the shared experience of witnessing the Olympic Games. For both London and Tokyo respondents, identification with the Olympics Games predicted perceptions of the two Olympic core values, each of which differentially influenced universal attitudes toward D&I. Four of five cultural values also predicted perceptions of the Olympic core values. The findings from this project inform future efforts to leverage the capacity of the Olympic Games to promote D&I principles, which, in turn, will increase the Games’ social impact on host communities and beyond.



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IOC Olympic Studies Centre

Place of publication

Lausanne, Switzerland



Research statement

Research Intent and Outcomes: Phase 1 consisted of the development of a survey instrument and pilot study to assess the reliability and validity of the English scales within this instrument. The survey was then translated into Japanese, with the accuracy of the translations then checked through a back-translation process. Phase 2 consisted of the English and Japanese surveys being administered in both London (N =500) and Tokyo (N = 1,003 for a pre-Olympic survey; N = 648 for a post-Olympic survey). The web-based survey included questions on sociodemographic characteristics and items related to the following study constructs: identification with the Olympic Games, cultural values, perceptions of the Olympic core values related to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), and universal attitudes toward D&I. The data was assessed via a variety of analyses, including: descriptive statistics, scale reliability estimates, confirmatory factor analysis, and path analysis. As the promotion of D&I has become a central social issue, it is essential to understand how the Olympic Games can contribute to making host community residents place a greater value on a diverse and inclusive society. Appreciation of diversity and friendly relations with others were identified as the two Olympic core values related to D&I. The evidence further indicated that the promotion of these values can positively influence local young adults’ universal attitudes toward D&I, such that they will develop a greater interest in participating in diverse social and cultural activities and have a greater appreciation for similarities and differences in others. The research also showed that (a) young adults’ perceptions of the two Olympic core values increased as they identified with the Olympic Games more strongly and (b) these perceptions also differed by young adults’ cultural orientations.

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper