Education should be more than just sitting in a classroom, says kinesiology professor Scott Martyn, who put that theory into practice by taking 12 students in his graduate course “Crisis, Politics, and Commercialism in the Modern Olympic Movement” on a pilgrimage of Olympic sites March 14 to 19.
The trip included stops at the corporate office of the Canadian Olympic Committee in Toronto, several venues in Montreal and the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York.
In Montreal, the group attended a game between the National Hockey League’s Canadiens and the Florida Panthers, visited the Olympic Park built for the 1976 summer games, and enjoyed a question-and-answer period with Richard Pound, founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency and former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee.
“Meeting with such an important figure as Mr. Pound was a great experience for myself and the whole class,” says MHK student Peter Baldwin. “Mr. Pound gave us a first-hand look into some of the intricacies and factors that contributed to making key decisions in the regards to International Olympic Committee.”
In Lake Placid, students were able to rub shoulders with future and current Olympians while catching a glimpse of what it is like to train full-time for the games. The village hosted winter games in 1932 and 1980. The group toured the arena and adjacent museum, ski jump and bobsled runs, guided by Jim Rogers, a member of 1980 organizing committee.
“Having Jim Rogers as our guide really added to the authenticity of our visit,” says student Matt Leixner. “It is impressive how many Olympians are produced in such a small town, and equally as impressive how much Mr. Rogers knows about each one.”