As the 2010 Winter Games approach, UBC is encouraging people to ask provocative questions this fall about what Olympics and Paralympics mean to our society.
In three speaker series – UBC’s Sport and Society and Winter Games Seminar Series and VANOC’s ?UBC-led Intellectual Muscle – a diverse mix of scholars and athletes and will explore the upcoming mega-event through a variety of lens, such as gender, diversity, ethics, science and sustainability.
“There are many globally relevant questions and opinions being raised around 2010,” says Sid Katz, Executive Director of UBC Community Engagement and Sports and Society creator. “Our goal is to create the broadest forum possible for dialogue and debate around the Games, as part of UBC’s commitment to advancing knowledge and civil society.”
To increase access, Sports and Society and Intellectual Muscle have partnered with the Globe and Mail, which will create an online portal with polls, discussion forums and other interactive features.
UBC Sports and Society series
The centerpiece of a multi-faceted UBC 2010 education program will be UBC’s Sports and Society speaker series, which kicks off Feb. 8, 2010 and runs through the Games.
Moderated by prominent Canadian television personalities at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Katz says these five events will feature Olympians and Paralympians who have made a positive impact on society in lively, respectful debate with academics and others.
What new ethical challenges have recent scientific advances created? Richard Pound, former Olympic swimmer, McGill Chancellor and World Anti-Doping Agency chairman. Feb. 8
Can sport and play serve as a development tool for the world’s most disadvantaged children? Johann Koss, former Olympic speed-skater and president of international humanitarian organization Right To Play. Feb. 12
Are major sporting events inclusive of First Nations and other groups? Waneek Horn Miller, former water polo Olympian and member of the Mohawk First Nation. March 5
Rick Hansen, a former wheelchair basketball Paralympian, will discuss sports, disability and diversity. ?March 10
What are Olympic legacies and are they worth the effort? Bruce Kidd, former track and field athlete and University of Toronto professor. March 13
Intellectual Muscle: University dialogues for Vancouver 2010
Intellectual Muscle is an eclectic series of thought-provoking podcasts by prominent and up-and-coming Canadian scholars on topics related to the 2010 Winter Games.
Developed by VANOC and UBC Continuing Studies in collaboration with universities across Canada, the series more than 20 public lectures will run from October 2009 through March 2010.
Hosted at UBC, University of Toronto, McGill and other Canadian institutions, speakers such as Judy Illes, UBC Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics, and Margaret Sommerville of McGill’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law will examine topics ranging from gender identity in men’s figure skating to the politics of sport.
The program is being led by Don Black, UBC Continuing Studies’ Director of Community Programs, who has been seconded to VANOC’s as Director of Education Programs for the 2010 Winter Games.
“The Games may be in Vancouver, but they are Canada’s Games and this is an opportunity to participate in a truly national conversation,” says Black, calling Intellectual Muscle part of the first-ever online, interactive, bilingual Games education program.
Another component of VANOC’s education program is an online teachers’ forum moderated by UBC’s Faculty of Education. Led by UBC Education Prof. David Vogt, this website helps K-12 teachers share resources and innovative ideas for Games-themed classroom lessons.
For more information about Intellectual Muscle and VANOC’s education programs, visit vancouver2010.?com/edu.
UBC Winter Games Seminar Series
Beginning this fall, UBC lectures and symposia such as Arts Wednesdays, the Ziegler Visiting Speaker Series and the Student Olympic Conference will focus on Games-related themes as part of UBC’s Winter Games Seminar Series.
“We will be showcasing the diverse mix of Games-related research and critical scholarship that is taking place at UBC,” says Bob Sparks, Director of UBCs School of Human Kinetics and Chair of UBC’s 2010 Education Committee.
Confirmed topics include the relationship between sport, art and politics, technology and the body, symbolism in sport and the historical context of the Olympic Games. “We encourage students and faculty who want to be involved or organize an event to contact us,” Sparks says.
Visit ubc.ca/2010 and events.ubc.ca for information on these and other UBC 2010 learning opportunities.