MEDIA ADVISORY: UW-Madison experts ready to talk Olympics

February 6, 2018

As millions prepare to watch the world’s best athletes compete in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games Feb. 7 through Feb. 25, experts from UW–Madison can speak on a wide range of subjects relating to the competition.

Korea

David Fields is a historian with expertise on Korea. He is an affiliated faculty member for the Center for East Asian Studies and deputy director for digital projects at the Center for the Study of the America Constitution. Fields edited “The Diary of Syngman Rhee, 1904–34, 1944,” which was published by the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in 2015. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, from 2016-2017. He can be reached at dpfields@wisc.edu.

Eunsook Jung is a political scientist with expertise on Korea. She is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Center for East Asian Studies & Middle Eastern Studies Program, with an appointment in the Department of Political Science. Jung has taught several courses on politics in Southeast Asia. She speaks extensively on Korea. An upcoming public talk will examine the developments of the missile crisis and North-South Korea relations, and how they affect security in East Asia and the United States. She can be reached at esjung@wisc.edu.

‘Smart’ textiles for athletes

Within the last 10 years, e-textiles have evolved to incorporate technology that can sense information; transfer data; transmit power, sound, or visuals; and create illumination. Might the future for high performance athletes include computation technology within the uniform?

School of Human Ecology Assistant Professor Marianne Fairbanks  can speak about these “smart” textiles. She may be reached at 608-890-3327 or mfairbanks@wisc.edu.

Kevin Ponto is an assistant professor in the Design Studies Department at UW–Madison whose work spans the disciplines of art, science, engineering and design. His area of research centers on integrating computation into textiles. He can be reached at 608-265-3958 or kevin.ponto@wisc.edu.

Race and gender

Linda Greene, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Law, will be paying attention to race and gender issues related to the Games. Greene has served as the U.S. Olympic Legislation Committee chair and co-founded the Black Women in Sport Foundation. She has written about the inclusion of women in Olympic governing bodies, equity between male and female Olympians, and how women athletes are represented in the media. She can be reached at linda.s.greene@wisc.edu.

Mental health

All that training doesn’t make elite athletes any more immune to mental illness than the rest of us. Dr. Claudia Reardon learned this anecdotally via her brother Andrew Rock, a professional sprinter who won a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics. When his fellow runners found out that his little sister is a psychiatrist, they’d seek her out.

“I started to get all kinds of interesting curbside questions,’’ she recalled. “I think the general perception of their physical prowess does a disservice to athletes – they may not be asked during checkups about problems they have with mood and anxiety disorders.”

Reardon currently serves as co-chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Workgroup on Mental Illness in Elite and Olympic Athletes. An associate professor of psychiatry and UW consulting sports psychiatrist to Badger Athletics, she is available to address any topics of mental illness in elite athletes. This includes depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use disorders, suicide, and others. Reardon can be reached at clreardon@wisc.edu, 608-265-5481.

Hockey

Inquiries regarding Olympic Men’s Hockey Head Coach Tony Granato should be directed to Paul Capobianco in UW Athletics, phc@athletics.wisc.edu.

The Olympic women’s hockey team features several former Badgers, including Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Alex Rigsby. Contact A.J. Harrison in UW Athletics, ah3@athletics.wisc.edu.