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Risk Management And The Olympic Games

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Executive Summary

After the first modern Olympic game held in Atlanta in 1966 with poor experience and many difficulties, risk management process in Olympic Games become an important norm. This report expects to deliver independent opinion on the Risk factors will be involved with the proposed Olympic game in 2012 at Britain with considering the internal and external environment of the Olympic Games. There are several sub contents have been reviewed with respective to the past experience involved during the last Olympic Games, to identify the recurrence of the similar events in future games like 2012. The identified risk factors have been carefully reviewed with the country specific, game specific strength, weakness, threats and opportunities. The Great Britain is a strength nation in both financial and security aspects to host the Olympic Games but still there is risk up to certain extent which should be resolved and mitigate. Seven step of risk management have been adopted to assess the identifying, asses and mitigate the risk by utilizing most appropriate strategy.

As per my review, the most vulnerable risks will be involved in the 2012 Olympic are Security and Geopolitical risk, Construction, Transport, and Infrastructure, Financial Risk and the Politics of Accounting , Licensing and Sponsorship , Risks of Fluctuations in Foreign Exchange Rates, Unquantifiable Economic Benefits, Public Opinion and Reputational Risk and etc.

Security and geo political, Transport infrastructure, and Licensing and sponsorships are in hand risk that can be control with the strategies in whole or up to the considerable extent. However the other risks listed above are not controllable to the IOC or organizer and host country as those out of control only precaution can be adopted. Even though , it does not mean that all the risk are catered in 100% due to the unavoidable circumstance in financial market, whether etc. could cause serious damaged to the host country in terms of hosting the Olympic games.


The Olympic games is the most know international sporting event for which more than thousands of athletes belongs to more than 200 nation participate in different sports event. The event is held every four years with winter and summer games. The first inspiration of the modern Olympics games is dates back to ancient Greek Olympic Games held in the honor of Greek goad Zeus from 8th century BC to 4th Century AD. At the time this event was religious festival. In 1984, the official governing body of Olympic has been established and called International Olympic Committee (IOC) Since then first modern Olympic games was started however due to the world wars , Olympic games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 had been cancelled. Thereafter 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games had been carried with the little participation due to the cold war tensions.

Risk management in Olympic Games in nowadays became the heart of the governance model for the games due to their growing scale and complicity of the event.

Olympic related risk management is started after the Olympic game in 1966 hold in the Atlanta since then IOC continuously invest on resources to manage the risk involve with Olympic games by imitating internal controls.


The objectives of this report are

  • To assess the risks that may occur both during design and build stage and operational phase of the game.
  • To assess the risks to all game events, location and individuals who will be participated in the event.
  • To deliver all risk mitigation strategies up to a reasonable extent and update the contingency plans.

The section two the report elaborate the seven stage of risk management and third section of report will elaborate the mitigation strategies , final section of the report provide recommendation and conclusion.


Risk Management is the process of identifying; assessing and providing solution by considering the political, social, economic and other environment on the possible risk factors to the decision makers in order take decisions effectively. The conventional risk management process involves generally three steps known as Risk Evaluation, Control and monitoring. However modern adoption of the risk management process defines seven simple steps as follows.

  • Establish the context,
  • Identification,
  • Assessment,
  • Potential risk treatments,
  • Create the plan,
  • Implementation,
  • Review and evaluation of the plan.

Seven Steps

Establish the Context

The risk management process of the Olympic cover not only the event but also covers the pre and operational functions, activities, individuals involved, locations, gaming events etc. even conducting the risk management process every single activity, initial location process etc., should be included for the identification and assessing and concluding solution. Therefore the context in here , start with announcement of the next event of Olympic game that’s means before 4 years period is crucial and accounted for the analysis.


Identification of the potential risk is the next step in the process of risk management. In the context of Olympic Games identifying potential of risk required previous experiences, events and global political environmental information’s and experiences. For an example in the recent years human related pandemics are crucial and reported worldwide, a place where every nation gathered may become place of spread of such diseases thus it can be potential risk likewise the following risk have been identified by reviewing the global context information and location specify information for the Britain.


United Kingdom recently faced terror attacks. The natures of those attacks have been changed beyond the traditional methods. The terrors organization worldwide more focus on higher casualties and losses and they likely implement terror attacks on high profile crowded places with chemicals, biological substances, bombs etc. in order to get world’s attraction.

Potential Attack on Public gathering Places

During the period of the event, the City of London will be getting over crowded with people from the world wide who came here to participate the event. Thus the public gathering places such as Restaurant, Open recreational areas, Hotels may get over crowded and will be a potential target of the terrorist groups.

Attacks on Transport Services

The vents likely to be increase the number passengers in every transport mode in the London city during the period of event. Out of all other modes, Underground railway system and buses are more likely to be the potential targets of the terrorists due to the less security concerns; Maritime and Air transport will be less potential to be a terrorist target duet to the higher securities.

Non-Predictable Attacks

The attacks using the Chemical, Biological and radiological and Nuclear materials defines as Non-conventional attacks. The impact of such attacks depends on the material used, number of people exposed, and the location etc. due to the gathering of the general public to watch the event this type of attack would be a potential risk.

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Crime, Public Protest and Extremism


Due to the higher public gathering during the operational phase of the game, minor type of crime such as stealing, fights and cheating could be happened in the vicinity. In addition to this organized crime also another sub category which has severs potential risk on the game in every aspect. Especially in the supplying of material and ticketing system of the game. With the technological innovations of the world, cyber-attacks also become another concern under the crime as a potential risk to the game. Most of the part of the game is based on the technology, making cyber-attacks over the systems in the vent may cause to fail the system or modifies, delete the data processed.

Public Protest & Extremism

With the experience of the previous Olympic games, the operation stage of the game and its publicity may be used by the general , pressure groups and other type of activist in order to headlight their rising problem to the world in the means of lawful or unlawful ways. In beyond that there may be organized groups with extreme ideas may cause destruction of the event delivery or operational phase.

Unpredictable accidents and Natural disasters

Unpredictable Accident

There may be unpredictable accidents which may have potentials to hold the Olympic event for the safety of the public and athletics. For an example, either explosion in a nuclear facility, or railway accident with large number of death count and property loss will have considerable risk potential to games. . A provision has to be made for such activities as they cannot mitigate in fully due to their unpredictable nature.

Natural Disasters

Weather Condition

Weather condition is an important risk factor which affect both pre and operation phase of the game. During the build stage sever weather condition caused for delaying the construction of required infrastructure and also sever rain or temperature caused for the athletes and audience. In addition to this Heavy rainfalls may cause flooding and damaged the Game location or the associated infrastructures.

Human Diseases

The impact of the Human Diseases can be varying depending in the situation at the right now no pandemic diseases are recorded within the London. But recently, in china, there was a pandemic disease called SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). During the operational phase of the game, there are people who visit London to participate the vent may be the carriers of such virus, in such situation spreading diseases like SARS be a nightmare to everyone. Thus pandemic disease is another potential risk factor. In addition to this food born disease also another potential risk in the context this much of public gathering for the event.

Risks on Games Associated Infrastructures

Associated infrastructure defines all the physical facilities, systems, sites and network required to functioning the Olympic Games during its operational phase. Technical failures, bad weather conditions, cyber-attacks / Terrorist attacks could disrupt these associated infrastructures.

Assessment of Risk

Assessment of the risk is made based on the availability of information by utilizing the previous statistics, report etc. based on the worst case scenario. The basement of each potential risk factor is being made by industry expert in order to get standard deliverables. For example; in the context of possible terror attacks, expert of the industry project what type of group may have potential to involve with the attack and nature of the attack based on their previous attempt and intended targets. Considering that projection are made for different scenarios in varying degree in order to find a balance between possible threat and mitigating mechanism.

When all the risk are assessed, based on their vulnerability a matrix can be created for each potential risks for better understanding of the decision makers. Based on this matrix government and the organizers of the event must decide what type of risk, magnitude of the consequences to plan for.

Potential risk treatments

The results of the Assessment matrix have been used to understand the relative impact of the potential risk, based on those risk items listed mitigation mechanism should be decided by the industry experts. As per the listed risks above, following mitigation mechanism have been decided.


Security Council has been formed including representative of the IOC and Other Military nonmilitary organization for a period of four years in order to assess the security threats, groups, [possible attacks, gathering information and review. In addition to that security deployment plan should implement specially in the areas where the game event are carried and mode of transpirations. Beyond the passive measures, emergency evacuation plan emergency response plan should be prepared and practiced. Obtaining insurance policy covering physical infrastructure of the game and participants.

Crime, Public Protest and Extremism

Information gathering, enforcement and implementation of the low enforcement agency should enrich during the period of the operational phase of the game with the coordination of IOC. A proper system should implement in order to mitigate the ticketing fraud and make transparency in the ticketing systems.

Create the plan

Considering the potential risk and respective mitigation strategies, a detail implementation plan has been made for the period of 4 years from the design stage to operational phase. This plan included all the individual, process, fund arrangements, protocols to act effectively when uncertainty on the gaming event arise.


Implementation defines following all the pan ways to meet the uncertainty. For an example risk of cyber-attack can be addressed with hiring a well-trained IT professional team in running the system.

Review and evaluation of the plan.

No plan is perfect in the practical situation, the every plan need to be changed by identifying the gap between expectation and the actual scenario. In the risk management process the plan prepared to mitigate the risk involve in the Olympic game should be reviewed in order to confirm its effectiveness and made necessary amendment with respective to the changes of the risk factors.

Conclusion & Recommendation

Risk Management process of the Olympic Game 2012 is a complex task as it is the largest sport event on the earth, more than 200 nations are actively participate in the gaming event hundred thousands of audience. The risk involve in the Olympic game can be categorized in to two major sub sections such as Controllable and non-controllable risks. The terror attack is the most sever risk facto should address very carefully the mitigation strategy of such should include both risk control and risk retention mechanism as it is non-controllable. The Natural conditions such as sever weather and human disease cannot be controllable but we can make both active and passive precaution to face it. The other risk factors listed above are controllable with right equipment and right people in place.


The recommendation to the IOC is as follows,

  • To establish a security committee including the military personals and field experts to assess the threat and solutions to overcome.
  • To obtain adequate insurance facilities on the associated infrastructure, athletes and the Audience covering required threats.
  • To implement law enforcement mechanism during the operational phase of the game in order to sustain no protest, public extremism
  • To implement proper coordination between metelogy departments of the host country in order to identify the natural disaster may arise during the phase of game.
  • To prepare contingencies plan for security, emergency exist, alternatives etc.



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Risk Management And The Olympic Games. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from
“Risk Management And The Olympic Games.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Risk Management And The Olympic Games [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from:
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