London 2012 - One year on from Olympic Games we look at the legacy impacts
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 26/07/13 7:56am
We're one year removed from the London 2012 Olympics. The greatest sporting event ever held in the country produced memories that will last a lifetime, but just what impact has the staging of the Games had on the UK?
It's 12 months on and we've been getting various reactions and viewpoints from around the sporting world on just what impact London 2012 has done, could do and should have done.
And there's plenty to round up, both on and off the track, as the Olympic Stadium prepares again to host the world's best athletes in the London Anniversary Games at the weekend.
Jess Ennis-Hill, as she is now called after her marriage, has been a huge success story, as has Mo Farah, but while they go from strength-to-strength other athletes have not been so lucky, while off the track has funding and participation increased as promised?
Here's what's happening a year after London 2012...
Legacy, legacy, legacy was the message before the Games. True there were many hugely memorable events during the Games that will never be forgotten, but will the games have the impact on sport in the country organisers hoped for? Opinion is divided depending on the sport and who you ask, but in truth we may only know for sure in years to come if Team GB can't repeat their success and if participation numbers dwindle. Some sports have thrived, with numbers up and funding raised, but some have stood still and not reaped the benefit they had hoped, with even reports of numbers being down in grass roots participation.
Britain's swimmers may not have performed as well as some other sports in the Olympics, but the next generation may also struggle in the future after the Amateur Swimming Association revealed a 50% drop in the number of school swimming pools open since the 1990s. In athletics there are more tracks now open, but key venues are being closed including Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium - where Jess Ennis-Hill was introduced to the sport.
The showpiece venue for the Games looked in danger of turning into a huge white elephant for some time as a new owner could not be found. West Ham eventually landed the Olympic Stadium as their new home and, despite worries that athletics would never again be seen at the venue, a deal was signed for it to be the new national base for British athletes. A 50-year agreement is in place to stage Diamond League and other athletics events in June and July every year from 2016, when work to convert it into a football stadium will be complete.
Finance was the major talking point in the build-up to the Olympics, with so much focus on the budget being spent and what economic impact the event would have. Government figures released recently revealed the Games came in £528m under budget, but the taxpayer is still forking out for them even now. However, the government insist the extra spending is necessary and combat that with reports that the UK economy has seen a £9.9 billion boost in trade and investment as a result.
Women in sport
Jess Ennis-Hill was the face of London 2012, and her stock has risen since her gold medal effort, but a recent Sky Sports News report revealed that she was the exception rather than the rule with fewer women on the list of top 10 Olympic sponsorship earners now than there were before the 2012 Games. She's one of just three women - and the only one still competing - in the top ten Olympic sponsorship earners based on income related exclusively to the Games. The other two women have both retired - Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Adlington came eighth and ninth respectively.
However, there may be better news for both the profile of women's sport and the participation levels - and the Women's Sports Trust is looking to build on the Olympic effect by getting more women involved in sport and a higher profile for female sports all round. Gold medal winner Anna Watkins dropped into the Sky Sports News studio and told us as she backed them to boost female sport in the UK.
Brownlees on Triathlon
Jonny and Alistair Brownlee say the sport of triathlon is booming a year on from the London Olympics. Alistair won gold in last year's Games, with brother Jonny taking bronze, and the Yorkshiremen say they can see the impact the Olympics has had on their sport when they train. We caught up with the pair as they prepared to stage their own event - The Brownlee Tri - a shortened form of a regular triathlon, at Fountains Abbey near Ripon in Yorkshire.