Olympic Studies Center
The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center at the University of Texas-Austin has announced the opening of its Institute for Olympic Studies. The institute at the Stark Center becomes only the second Olympic studies center in the United States.
The development of the Institute for Olympic Studies received the support of the United States Olympic Committee, which in a series of communications with the Stark Center determined that the center had the staff and library holdings to make significant contributions to the study of the Olympic movement. This was the first step toward becoming listed by the International Olympic Committee as an Olympic Studies Center. In addition to the listing, the IOC will disseminate information about our Institute for Olympic Studies.
“We’ve wanted for some time to establish a research entity focusing on the Olympic movement,” said Stark Center Co-Director Dr. Terry Todd. “When the center moved into its new home in 2009, we finally had the staff and space we needed to be able to pool our resources and work with other like-minded entities on campus and beyond to make a significant contribution toward understanding this global sports phenomenon.”
The efforts of the Institute for Olympic Studies will be supported by a core of University of Texas faculty and staff with expertise in the field. Center Co-Directors Dr. Terry Todd and Dr. Jan Todd; Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Dr. Thomas Hunt; Associate Editor of the Stark Center’s journal “Iron Game History,” Dr. Kim Beckwith; and center associates such as Dr. John Hoberman, professor of Germanic languages; Dr. Laurence Chalip, professor of Sport Management; and Dr. B. Christine Green, associate professor of Sport Management who have researched Olympic and Olympic-related topics extensively. What’s more, Cindy Slater, the Stark Center’s associate director of library services, served for more than 20 years as manager of the library and archives for the U.S. Olympic Committee Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The Institute for Olympic Studies will generate journal articles, sponsor lectures, and hold symposia. Dr. Terry Todd also indicated there are plans to produce future publications on Olympic topics through the Todd book series with UT Press. The first book in that series, released in January, was Thomas Hunt’s Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping.
In another project, a group of faculty, students, and staff affiliated with the Stark Center has partnered with members of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team to create an oral history of that year’s Olympic Games. The group has now interviewed approximately 90 members of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team, including Tom Lough, Jim Moore, Joe Dube, and Doug Russell and has a slate of additional interviews set up through the coming year.
In addition to research and publishing, the Institute for Olympic Studies, through the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, has created two new Olympic courses–an undergraduate course on Olympic history and a graduate course on Olympic policy, both of which will be taught during the coming academic year.
Founded by scholar-athletes Terry and Jan Todd, the 27,500-square-foot Stark Center is an internationally recognized research facility within the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. It is at the north end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and is open, without charge, to scholars for research purposes, as well as to the public.