The Legacy of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games: A Qualified Success?



This chapter examines the legacy of the 1998 Summer Olympics, held in Seoul, South Korea. It is relatively easy to be cynical about the legacy of sports mega-events. However, we argue that there is incontrovertible evidence of legacy in the case of the Seoul Games in terms of sporting, economic and cultural advances. We accept that relations between South and North Korea were not helped by the Games or the events leading up to them. Overall, however, Seoul 1988 demonstrated that global events can help to promote indigenous cultures and even reverse the direction of dominant globalizing trends. If nothing else, the example of Seoul 1988 suggests that the culture industries should recognize sports mega-events as potential opportunities rather than self-evident threats.


Olympic Game Destination Image South Korean Government Summer Olympics Korean Nation 
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© Alan Bairner and Ji-Hyun Cho 2014

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