Research question: This study investigated social outcomes of interest regarding the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) from the perspective of the young athletes competing at the Buenos Aires 2018 YOG. In particular, the process of how the YOG's planned service environment contributes to young athletes’ learning is examined using a transformative service research lens and control value theory. Research methods: An online post-Games survey measured the athletes’ perspective on (1) the service environment; (2) enjoyment; (3) learning; and (4) social outcomes of interest. A total of 330 anonymized responses were collected (boys = 130, girls = 200). Results and findings: All service environment-related factors (i.e. service environment outside of sport, service environment in sport venue, and the Learn and Share program) significantly predicted the social outcomes of interest of the YOG through learning (Mediator1) and enjoyment (Mediator2) both individually and in-sequence. Implications: For the IOC to create greater social outcomes of interest, athletes’ sense of enjoyment and learning must be fostered. Evidence demonstrates that, through athlete enjoyment and learning, the acquisition of social outcomes of interest increases, consequently bolstering the notions advanced in control value theory where positive emotions enhance one's learning. Hence, for the IOC, creating an environment that focuses on the sport competitions as well as on the education and cultural opportunities for athlete exchange is important.
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