The University of British Columbia has a range of research stories related to Olympics available for media. The ideas below build on UBC’s 2012 experts list.
Athletes ‘reactions’ of pride and shame are universal expressions
Olympians’ reactions to their performances – from the victory stance of a gold medalist to the slumped shoulders of a non-finalist – are innate and biological rather than learned responses to success and failure, says Prof. Jessica Tracy.
Are Olympians born or made?
Do certain family values and parenting techniques foster excellence? Ask high performance genetics expert Prof. Jim Rupert, or members of the Wright Family, which has three generations of UBC Olympians, or the parents of UBC Olympian Heather Maclean, who will swim in London with her sister Brittany.
No evidence of post-Olympics real estate boom or bust for host cities
Host cities experience neither boom nor bust in real estate prices, suggesting no long-term economic benefits to hosting the Games. However, they do gain construction jobs in preparing for the Games, say Prof. Tsur Somerville and graduate student Jake Wetzel, a former Olympic rower who won gold in Beijing.
2010 Olympics provided economic and cultural boost
Thanks to the Vancouver Games, B.C.’s economy grew in 2010 with new businesses, jobs and tourism, according to Prof. Rob VanWynsberghe. Other outcomes: a boost for sport and culture in Canada, the inclusion of Aboriginal groups and minorities, and greater recognition of persons with disabilities.
What are the environmental impacts of the Olympics?
Prof. James Tansey, who calculated the carbon footprint of the 2010 Games, is helping to offset carbon emissions of Team Canada’s travel through his spinoff company Offsetters.
Commentary: Opening ceremonies – what to expect?
“The opening ceremonies are the business card for every Olympics,” says Prof. Kurt Huebner. “The challenge will be to reflect modern and diverse nation that is today’s Britain. It’s also an opportunity to frame the Games as belonging to all of the UK, and not just London.”
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