TORONTO, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - During the 17 days of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, all eyes are on the athletes competing for their country's place on the podium. But behind the scenes different types of Olympic experts are hard at work; ones who advise athletes as well as study, analyze and research the impact of the Olympics on not only the athletes, but on society.
Ontario university researchers are available to share and discuss their Olympic-related research.
| Geoff Smith
School of Kinesiology
|How far will Olympic athletes go to gain an edge? - Geoff Smith says spying in sports is much more common than the public realizes. He is available to talk about Olympic espionage and dirty tricks, and how they fit in the larger global culture of sport, where winning gold stands as the holy grail of national achievement.
| Jacqueline Kennelly
|Do the Olympics make things better for the inhabitants of host cities? - Jacqueline Kennelly is conducting research in London on the urban effects of the Olympic Games on low-income youth in East London. She will be conducting a comparative analysis of the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Games to inform public discourse on the impact of the Games on local residents.
| Ayelet Shachar
University of Toronto
professor of law,
Political Science, and Global Affairs
|Do countries use citizenship as a recruitment tool for top athletes? - Ayelet Shachar's work examines the granting of citizenship to elite athletes in order for the country to excel in international athletic competitions. She is also a Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism.
| Robert Schinke
|How do immigrant athletes manage transition and adjustment issues when re-locating? - Robert Schinke can speak about sports psychology with a focus on immigrant elite athletes representing Canada. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Multicultural Sport and Physical Activity.
| Parissa Safai
School of Kinesiology & Health Science
|With the majority of Olympic athletes earning at or below the poverty line, what are the health impacts of financial stress on athletes? - Parissa Safai examines the social determinants of Olympic athletes' health with focus on the relationship between poverty and health. Despite some athletes' success in securing funding and sponsorship (e.g., boxer Mary Spencer's current contract with Cover Girl), the majority of Canadian Olympic athletes earn at or below the poverty line and often rely on financial support of others. Her research is the first of its kind in examining the health consequences of such financial strain on high performance athletes and their supporters (e.g. their families).
| Janice Forsyth
School of Kinesiology
|What opportunity do Aboriginal athletes have to compete in the Olympics? - Janice Forsyth specializes in Olympic and Canadian sport history, and has a specific interest in Aboriginal experiences in contemporary Canadian sport. Western is home to the International Centre for Olympic Studies, the first centre in the world and the only one in the Americas to focus on the study of the Olympics.
| Scott Martyn
University of Windsor
Faculty of Human Kinetics
|How has Olympic commercialism evolved? - Scott Martyn has investigated the historical evolution of the Olympic Games and affiliated symbols, such as the Olympic Rings, as sport marketing properties. He has served on the executive council of the International Centre for Olympic Studies and is the chief editor of International Sports Studies, and the managing editor of Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies. He has co-authored a book entitled Selling the Five Rings: The IOC and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism.
| Cheri Bradish
associate professor, Department of Sport Management
| How have the restrictive brand and sponsorship policies surrounding the Olympics affected the marketing of the Games and athletes? -
With significant experience in the sport industry, Cheri Bradish can speak about the management and marketing of the Olympic Games, including ambush marketing related issues. She has worked with the Florida Sports Foundation, Nike Canada Inc., Florida State University Department of Athletics (NCAA), the Vancouver Grizzlies (NBA), and most recently, as a Sponsorship and Sales Specialist with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games (VANOC).
| Mark Tarnopolsky
Department of Medicine
|What are the health implications on athletes who practice blood doping? - Mark Tarnopolsky can speak to the issue of blood doping among Olympic athletes and the impacts to athletes' health.
| Kim Dawson
Wilfrid Laurier University
|How do athletes manage the ups and downs of competition? - Kim Dawson can talk about the psychological techniques she recommends to athletes to fend off slumps, deal with injuries, manage emotions, and maintain sport-life balance. Dawson is working with four Olympic runners; marathoners Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet, steeplechaser Alex Genest, and 1500-metre specialist Hilary Stellingwerff.
SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities
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