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Doctoral student receives research grant from the International Olympic Committee

Kathryn Kao

January 15, 2021

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Jinsu Byun, a fourth-year doctoral student in the Mary Frances Early College of Education’s department of kinesiology, recently received a research grant from the International Olympic Committee’s PhD Students and Early Career Academics Research Grant program.

The main objective of this program is to encourage research on any aspect dealing with the Olympic Movement or the Olympic Games. The grant will support Byun’s research project, “A Comparative Case Study of the Governance of Post-Olympic Games Legacy Organizations,” as he collects a wide range of data on three previous Winter Olympic hosts, including Salt Lake City (2002), Vancouver (2010) and PyeongChang (2018).

“Winning this grant motivates me to contribute to my academic field and society by conducting impactful research,” said Byun. “This research grant will significantly contribute to the development of my doctoral thesis.”

Olympic legacy refers to any positive or negative long-term effects experienced by host countries, including economic, social and environmental impacts. While leaving positive legacies have become increasingly important, limited attention has been paid to creating and managing these legacies, especially after the Games are over.

To fill this research gap, Byun will use the grant to help fund in-person visits to research sites as he examines the politics (stakeholder relationships), polity (institutional structures) and policy (content of governance) dimensions of post-Olympic Games legacy organizations.

“No research to date has investigated legacy governance at the organizational level, nor has there been a cross-case analysis on this topic,” he said. “Therefore, I expect the findings from this project to have significant practical and theoretical impacts on our understanding of sport event legacy.”

According to Byun, several challenges to sustaining an Olympic legacy—including lack of public and financial support—may arise during the post-Games phase. By examining multiple Olympic legacy organizations through Western and Eastern contexts, Byun hopes his study will offer important practical considerations for diverse stakeholders to sustain positive long-term Olympic legacies.

Byun’s primary research goal is to improve sport organizations and sport governance systems, as well as sustainable sport event management. To achieve this goal, he conducts research that offers meaningful insight into under-investigated topics related to three research areas: interorganizational relationships in sport event contexts, the governance of sport at national and international levels and organizational changes in sport.

“My research experiences have allowed me to apply diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to research topics,” he said. “I feel rewarded for my hard work at UGA, and I hope that my research will be able to show diverse governance modes of legacy organizations that have been established and changed through different histories.”