Friday, August 08, 2008

Friends in Beijing

Our friends Jay & Carly have gone on a trip this summer, which includes presenting papers in China. Fortunately, they are also able to see some of the Olympics while they are there. They will even be able to see our local athlete, Jim Steacy, in the preliminary round of the hammer throw. The Lethbridge Herald had an article in the paper today. Here's the link to it (I don't want to violate copyright!):

Local NewsProfs find Olympic-size perks follow academic conferenceBy Gerald GauthierAug 8, 2008, 04:21
Their exploration of gender politics in the Olympics is providing some enviable perks this summer for a pair of University of Lethbridge academics.Not only have Carly Adams and Jason Laurendeau gotten the chance to share their research with fellow international scholars at a pre-Olympic conference in China, but with those meetings now completed, they get to witness the Olympics firsthand. On top of that, they’ll get to cheer on one of their own — Lethbridge product and U of L student Jim Steacy — during the preliminary round of the Olympic men’s hammer throw competition which begins Aug. 15.The downside — if there is one — is their travel itinerary has them leaving the following day, so they won’t be around should Steacy, the reigning Canadian men’s hammer throw champion, advance beyond the preliminaries.“We’ll see him at the beginning, which will be fantastic,” Adams said in a telephone interview from her hotel in Beijing. They also have tickets for Olympic handball, rowing, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, judo and soccer events.Adams, an assistant professor in the kinesiology and physical education department, and Laurendeau, an assistant professor in the department of sociology, were invited to speak at the bi-annual international symposium for Olympic research after submitting research briefs to organizers about six months ago. The three-day conference wrapped up Thursday.Adams’ research examines the struggle for acceptance of women’s Olympic sports before and since five women’s track-and-field events were introduced at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Controversy back then, she says, centred on which sports were considered too strenuous or unladylike and therefore inappropriate for women.Laurendeau’s research looks at how similar paternalistic attitudes persist today and contributed to the International Olympic Committee’s decision to deny women the chance to compete in ski jumping at the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.Other scholars from around the world presented research on various issues surrounding the Olympic movement such as doping, politics, legacies, media, athletics and history. Although much of the material discussed during the symposium takes the Olympic movement to task, Adams said it’s likely to have more of an impact in university lecture halls than in the halls of power within the IOC.“There’s no way that a lot of this research is filtering down to them,” she said. “This conference is really important in terms of my research but also in terms of my teaching.”This fall, she’s to begin teaching a new course at the U of L on the modern Olympic movement.The pair arrived in Beijing last weekend after a 48-hour ferry ride from Japan where they had attended a sport sociology conference. For the first couple of days, their eyes burned because of the smog, Adams said. She described major Olympic venues they visited during the week as “ghost towns” sealed off by security personnel who kept the public well away from the facilities.It was Laurendeau’s first trip to the bi-annual symposium, but Adams has attended three previous events including one in Athens prior to the 2004 Olympics there. Despite a pervasive security presence in Beijing, she said, the city has been abuzz with energy leading up to today’s official launch of the Olympic Games.“Security was high in Athens, but it’s even higher here,” she said. “It’s everywhere, there’s security everywhere.” © Copyright by

No comments:

Post a Comment