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York University athletes, coaches gear up for Games
Gender, drugs, politics, drive & dedication: York U. experts weigh in on Olympic issues

TORONTO, August 24, 2000 -- As the countdown to the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia begins, and as the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid waits to hear if it will make the short list next Tuesday, York University offers up an array of experts to give pause, perspective and informed commentary on a wide range of Olympic issues. At the same time, York wishes its members of the Canadian Olympic team well as they head for the Games which run from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.

Amateur Sport in Canada

Patricia Murray, director of Sport and Recreation at York University and associate lecturer in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science, is an executive committee member of the Canadian Olympic Association (COA), Chair of its education committee, and a member of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid. Murray is a leading authority on amateur sport in Canada. York's synchronized swimming coach from 1972-92, Murray led the Canadian Synchronized Swimming Team at the last four Olympics. Murray was also recently selected as the 1999-2000 Athletic Director of the Year by the International Region, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Murray can be reached at (416) 736-5469, or by e-mail at: pmurray@yorku.ca.

Performance-enhancing Drugs and Anti-doping

Norman Gledhill, professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science, was the founding chairman of Canada's Doping Control Program, which began in the 80's under the Sport Medicine Council of Canada and Sport Canada. He has overseen every aspect of Canada's doping controls, including anti-doping policy, training and implementation, and procedures to deal with infractions. Gledhill is also internationally recognized for his expertise in conducting research on the effects of blood doping -- the intravenous administration of blood or blood-related products to raise the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity and enhance aerobic athletic performance. He is the Coordinator of York's Certificate Program in Fitness Assessment and Exercise Counselling. Gledhill can be reached at (416) 736-5794, or by e-mail at: ngledhil@yorku.ca.

The Evolution of the Games

Kevin Jones is a professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science who teaches a course called The Olympic Movement and Its Influence on Canadian Sport. That course looks at such questions as: Will the efforts of Sport Canada produce athletes capable of beating the superpowers? What are the implications of the Dubin Commission? Who are the world's superpowers of sport -USA, Russia, the new Germany, or China, the slowly awakening giant? What will the rescinding of the South African Apartheid policy mean to world sport? Jones can comment on the evolution of the Olympics, and the practice of giving payouts to athletes who bring home medals -- something that he says the Australian government has proposed to tap into by taxing medal winners. Jones, who has taught the history of the Olympics for more than 20 years, also coached York's water polo team from 1970 to 1993. He can be reached at (416) 736-5132, at home: (705) 429-5988, by e-mail: kjones@yorku.ca or kjones@georgian.net.

Women in Sport

Greg Malszecki, a professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science and a leading expert on gender in sport, sport history and sport sociology, says female Olympic athletes have had to overcome much resistance to their participation in the Games. The founders of the modern Olympic Games thought it unnatural for women to compete in the games. He says they believed a woman's proper role was to offer male athletes applause and praise. Malszecki can be reached at (416) 736-2100, ext. 77480, or at home: (416) 762-1719.

The Greening of The Games

David Bell, a political science professor and director of York University's Centre for Applied Sustainability, is a member of the environmental consultation group which briefed David Crombie on Toronto's 2008 Olympic bid. Bell can discuss the principles behind a green Olympics and the extent to which Toronto's bid hinges on this principle. Bell can be reached at: (416) 736-2100, ext. 77095 or at home: (905) 889-2873.

Peter Homenuck, a professor at York's Faculty of Environmental Studies and a former coordinator of York's urban studies program, can discuss the potential environmental impact of the Olympics coming to Toronto. He argues that without a commitment to improving transportation infrastructure, downtown Toronto will be beset by gridlock during the Games. Homenuck is also an expert on environmental assessment, public consultations and affordable housing policy, and can comment on how they relate to Toronto's Olympic bid. Homenuck can be reached at: (905) 660-1060, ext. 223, (416) 736-5252, ext. 33033, or at home: (905) 939-8846.

Coaching and Motivating

Dave Chambers, a professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science and an instructor in the new M.A. in Kinesiology (Coaching), can discuss the theory and science behind successful coaching and mentally preparing young athletes. Chambers is a former coach of the Quebec Nordique NHL hockey team, and the Canada Jr. Team. He can be reached at (416) 736-2100, ext. 20607, or by e-mail dchamber@yorku.ca. (Chambers will be away until the Labour Day weekend, but can be reached by e-mail).

Selling the Games: Advertising and Corporate Sponsorship

Alan Middleton, a professor of marketing at York's Schulich School of Business and a former advertising professional, can discuss the marketing behind the Games and the trend toward increased corporate sponsorships. He can be reached at (416) 736-2100, ext. 33180. (Middleton will be away until Sept. 1)

York University athletes and coaches head for the Games

Among those going for gold at the Games from York University are athletes Mark Simmons (Boxing), Karen Cockburn (Trampoline), and Mathieu Turgeon (Trampoline). Other York University community members who will be at the Games include beach volleyball coach Hernan Humana, Team 2008 member, former York coach and alumna Molly Killingbeck, and York alumna and Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid member Sandra Levy.

Mark Simmons (Boxing), a recent York Alumnus (BSc 00), is rated one of the best heavyweights in the world. Simmons has defeated notable fighters like Roland Reform (number two in the world in 1998) and former Canadian champ Gary Goodridge. Simmons won Gold at the 1999 Pan Am Games and at the 1999 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Simmons can be reached at (416) 767-8240, or by e-mail at lefthook25@hotmail.com. Simmons will be up against 16 other athletes in his weight class. Simmons will leave for Hawaii Aug. 25 to train for the Games, and will have his first bout in the ring Sept. 21.

Karen Cockburn (Trampoline) is a first-year student at York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science. She placed fifth at the 1999 World Championships held in South Africa, second at the World Cup Championships held this June in England, and third at the World Cup Championships held this July in Vienna, Austria. "I am excited to be competing for Canada, and I am especially excited to be among the first athletes to compete in a new and exciting Olympic sport," says Cockburn. Cockburn can be reached at (416) 447-4340. She will be departing for the games Sept. 11 and will be competing against 12 other athletes for the gold on Sept. 22.

Mathieu Turgeon (Trampoline), a second-year student at York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science, placed 11th at the 1999 World Championships in South Africa and seventh at the World Cup Championships held this July in Vienna, Austria. Turgeon says he believes the introduction of the trampoline competition into the summer Olympics will impress crowds and will grow in popularity as an Olympic event. Turgeon can be reached at (905) 475-3460. He will leave for the Games Sept. 11 and compete Sept. 23.

Hernan Humana is a professor in York's School of Kinesiology and Health Science and one of the coaches for Canada's Olympic Beach Volleyball Team. He coached the Canadian Beach Volleyball Team to a bronze medal victory at the 1996 Olympics. Humana also coaches Varsity women's indoor volleyball at York. Humana can be reached at (416) 736-2100, ext. 66910 or 77309.

**NB: While in Sydney, the above athletes can be reached for interviews by filling out a request form to be posted on the COA's Web site located at: http://www.coa.ca, or by contacting: The Canadian Team Media Office at 011-61-2-81130193.

Molly Killingbeck, a York Alumna (BA 86) and former coach for York's Varsity Track and Field Program and Track and Field Club, says her role at the Sydney Olympics will be to observe the Games and suggest ways on how to improve Toronto's own bid. Killingbeck, a member of Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid, has 15 years experience as one of Canada's most successful competitive athletes and coaches. She was a member of the 4x400m silver medal team at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and helped coach the men's 4x100m relay team to a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Killingbeck is the Athlete Services manager for The National Sport Centre - Toronto. Killingbeck can be reached at (416) 426-7185, or by e-mail: mollyk@nsct.on.ca. She will be leaving for the Games Sept. 10.

Sandra Levy, a York Alumna (BA 90, LLB 95) and two-time Olympian on the Women's Field Hockey Team Seoul 88 and Barcelona 92 Olympic Games -- is also attending the Sydney Games to explore ways of shoring up Toronto's bid. A tireless promoter of girls and women in sport, she has also been equally adamant in challenging racism in sport. She is an executive member of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid Committee and chair of its Villages Committee which is responsible for exploring the best options for the athlete villages, and ensuring their legacy meets community housing objectives. Levy, who is Vice-President, Business Development, at the Canadian Olympic Centre for Training Corporate Excellence and maintains a part-time law practice, can be reached at (905) 848-1100, ext. 223, or by e-mail at slevy@cocce.com. She will be leaving for the Games Sept. 5.

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For more information or additional experts, please contact:

Ken Turriff
Media Relations Officer
York University
(416) 736-2100, ext. 22086 / kturriff@yorku.ca

YU/083/00

   
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