UBC in the news – Feb 2010

Highlights of UBC media coverage in February 2010. compiled by Heather Amos


Canada balances protests and civil liberties

The New York Times, the Guardian, the Seattle Times, the Boston Globe, CBC News, the New York Daily News, the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun and others, reported on Olympic protests.

Chris Shaw, professor of ophthalmology at UBC and one of the most prominent anti-Olympic activists who participated in the protests, said: “We think everything about the Games as they currently exist is wrong.”

Reporters also spoke to Joe Cutbirth, a journalism professor, Michael Byers, a civil libertarian and political science professor, and a handful of UBC students in their stories.

Debate about Olympic legacies

Reuters, Agence France Presse and the Globe and Mail reported on the legacies and cost of the Winter Olympics.

Rob VanWynsberghe, the lead researcher of the Olympic Games Impact study, James Brander, professor at the Sauder School of Business, and Tsur Somerville, a professor in real-estate finance, discussed their Olympic research in the reports.

Brander said the infrastructure projects are the most important legacies of the Games and the only “bad” project, that could lose money, is the athlete’s village. The BBC, CTV and the Vancouver Sun also reported versions of this story.

Vancouver 2010 to Be Warmest Winter Olympics Yet

January was warmer than usual for Vancouver and there were concerns about what this meant for the 2010 Winter Games, National Geographic and CBS News reported this month.

UBC atmospheric scientist William Hsieh discussed the warm weather and El Niño, while UBC meteorologist Douw Steyn explained why there had been more rain than snow at Cypress Mountain.

“The temperatures have been higher than normal, so what falls does not fall as snow,” said Steyn.

Riefenstahl footage in video causes stir

UBC historian Richard Menkis discussed VANOC’s use of footage from a 1936 Nazi financed film of the Berlin Olympics for an official video for their Olympic torch relay, in the New York Times and the Globe and Mail.

The Globe and Mail also spoke to Ira Nadel, a UBC English professor, about the controversy. “I was very surprised to see that it appeared in their formal, official welcome to the Olympic relay promo,” he said.

Canadian IOC member Dick Pound calls doped athletes `sociopathic cheats’

The Canadian Press reported on UBC’s first Sport and Society lecture about sport, ethics and technology. The lectures are part of a program of dialogues coinciding with the Winter Games.

Sid Katz was featured in a report about the Sport and Society lectures in the Vancouver Courier, and the Province and the Georgia Straight reported on the second lecture featuring Stephen Lewis and Johann Koss.