Not everyone gets to be an Olympian, but thanks to a trip to Montreal and Lake Placid last week, students in Scott Martyn’s graduate course on “Crises, Politics, and Commercialism in the Modern Olympic Movement,” got to feel like world-class athletes for a couple of days.
“Overall this was an unforgettable experience that provided students with an opportunity to supplement the material learned in class with a unique hands-on experience,” said master’s student Ryan McConnell.
In Montreal, the students met with Dick Pound, a former president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the World Anti Doping Agency, who said the inspirational and international nature of the modern Olympics ensures their continued popularity: “New heroes emerge at every Olympic Games.”
During a tour of the facilities that hosted the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the group saw swimmers warming up for the national Olympic trials. That contact with future Olympians continued at the next stop, Lake Placid, New York.
En route, the students watched the film Miracle on Ice, which recounts the victory of the US men’s hockey team over the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid.
“Even though the group members were not American, we were still nostalgic when touring the Herb Brooks Arena,” McConnell said.
The Windsor delegation also toured the ski jumping, speed skating and sliding venues, as well as the U.S. Olympic training facility, where they lunched with luge and bobsleigh athletes, and members of the women’s national hockey team.
The group heard from Brad DeWeese, the head athletic trainer, who pointed out his success is measured by the accomplishments of the athletes.
“If they don’t win medals, my training regimen will be questioned,” he said.