Praise for Barcelona’s Olympic legacy as city welcomes IOC’s Olympic Solidarity commission - 25 years on from the Games
Local leaders praise the outstanding legacy of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and underline the major ongoing impact the Games have had on the city and region.
Addressing the members of the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Commission on Tuesday, the President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, recalled how Barcelona was modernised in 1992 - with the Olympic Games putting the city on the world map and stimulating a major urban transformation, leaving sports facilities that are still fully in operation.
“The Games were a boost to the internationalisation and the opening of Barcelona and Catalonia to the world”, he said.
The Games were a boost to the internationalisation and the opening of Barcelona and Catalonia to the worldCarles Puigdemont President of the Generalitat
The following day, the Catalan Secretary General of Sport, Gerard Figueras, participated in the opening session of the Olympic Solidarity Commission meeting chaired by IOC Member, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, and explained that, 25 years later, Barcelona still bears witness to the great legacy of the Games.
“Not only were the Barcelona Olympic Games a great example of sustainability thanks to infrastructures that are still fully functional today, but they also had a big impact on the place of sport in Catalonia”, said Figueras.
“Today, 50 per cent of Catalans practise physical activity as a habit. We have 18,000 clubs and 72 federations, 450,000 students practise sport at school, and the sports industry represents two per cent of the Catalan GDP”, he added.
The Barcelona 1992 25th anniversary programme features school activities, sporting events and the “City and Olympism” conferences, which will address topics such as the role of women and their treatment in the media, volunteering, the Paralympic Games and the role of host cities.
Speaking at an event held to launch the anniversary celebrations back in February, Ada Colau, the city’s Mayor, said the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992 had left an indelible legacy of which the city could be proud: “Barcelona opened up to the world and, above all, to its citizens, becoming a collective project that looked both inwards and outwards.”
For his part, Alejandro Blanco Bravo, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), described Barcelona 1992 as an unforgettable occasion for world sport: “Twenty-five years on, the whole world is speaking with pride and passion about what happened.”Reflecting on the legacy of Barcelona 1992 on a special website created for the anniversary, the organisers of the celebrations wrote: “The dynamism and drive of those years have left a multi-faceted legacy combining aspects both seen and unseen, such as the city’s urban renewal, first-class local and municipal sports facilities, a significant contribution to the increase in sports participation, a strong sense of identification with the city and the project, and the cohesion and excitement generated by experiencing and taking part in a unique event.”