Rio 2016 Olympic Games Sustainability and Legacy Stories

Over the course of the Rio Olympic Games this summer AISTS was there to capture and share the sustainability practices of various International Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees and Olympic Cities that were doing their part to encourage good practices and legacies after the Games.  

A collection of these stories that outline several initiatives that seeks to engage the wider audience on sustainability and legacy has been compiled by the AISTS, focusing on positive stories.  Leaving aside the complexity and challenges of organising Olympic Games for a moment, it puts the spotlight on examples that show the concrete positive impact of the Games. 


Sustainability, however, is not just about the environment and throughout this collection from Rio you will find positive stories on what was being done to help the local community and also provide practical knowledge transfer.  The National Organising Committee of the Netherlands has been working with Olympic and Paralympic athletes to support the recently created GEO-schools in Rio de Janeiro (Ginásio Experimental Olimpico).  There are four GEO schools in Rio de Janeiro, located at the edges of city’s slums or favelas.  A variety of Dutch Olympic and Paralympic athletes conducted sport clinics at the GEO schools to educate the children about the Olympic Values and the use of sport to deal with both hardship and success. The visiting athletes also trained together with the children and gave advice on sports such as: swimming, judo, track and field, etc. Read more here


The purpose of this collection is to shine a light on some good sustainable practices that were being undertaken in Rio that showed the positive impact of the Games.  It has been written in association with Abraça Rio 2016 which is part of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee.  Geert Hendriks, AISTS Head of Projects said, 

There are many untold stories to be shared from the Games.  This book reveals some of the positive impacts from Rio 2016, in particular for the city itself.

The published version of the book can be found in a digital format here and you can also read each individual story here.   

For more information on the AISTS Applied Research programmes click here or contact Geert Hendriks directly at

About the AISTS 

The AISTS’s applied research arm conducts independent and commissioned projects, in addition to helping sports organisations and federations navigate an increasingly complex sport landscape through advisory services. The AISTS areas of focus lie principally in major sport events, international sport management and administration, the development of sport as well as sport for social and economic impact.

The AISTS offers a number of sustainability resources, including:

  • Sport Sustainability e-learning online course
  • SSE Toolkit
  • CSR and Sustainability Open Module: a three day educational module delivered at the EPFL Campus, Lausanne 
  • Research and Case Studies covering a wider range of topics such as sustainability, Women in Development, CSR, Youth & Sport, and Sport for Development


AISTS Founders