Feb. 19, 2002
Carrying the Torch for Tourism and Sport
Professor Makes Sixth Journey to Olympics with Students
Are sports fans demonstrating
their patriotism by attending the 2002 Winter Olympic Games? Or are
they opting to cheer from the comfort of their own living rooms in light
of heightened fears about terrorism?
Thirty-two GW undergraduate
and graduate students studying tourism and sport management are exploring
these and other issues during a 10-day trip to Salt Lake City for the
2002 Winter Olympic Games. Their analysis and report is a required assignment
for 2002 Winter Olympic Experience in Salt Lake City, Utah: Behind
the Scenes, a course that includes class time and coursework covering
the history and organization of the Olympic Games the worlds
largest sports event.
An Olympic Games trip has been
a GW tradition since 1992, with Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor
of tourism and sport management in GWs School of Business and
Public Management, escorting GW business students to the Games in Barcelona
(1992), Lillehammer (1994), Atlanta (1996), Nagano (1998), and Sydney
Attending the Olympic
Games and being exposed to the people that are intricately involved
in this mega-event will provide students with an ideal learning experience.
It not only will reinforce material learned in the classroom, but it
will allow students to network and make valuable connections for the
future, says Delpy Neirotti.
She says that students come
to her course fascinated by the Olympics, yet without a broad understanding
of what is involved. Through this course the students will gain an understanding
of what producing the Olympic Games entails. At the Games, students
are meeting with top-level executives from the International Olympic
Committee, the United States Olympic Committee, Salt Lake City Organizing
Committee, corporate sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Visa, and Xerox, and,
of course, Olympic athletes. The students are studying the organizational
and financial requirements involved in hosting the Games, and also are
conducting on-site market research related to spectator spending, satisfaction,
and sponsor recall. As one might imagine, this is a popular course and
registration fills nearly overnight.
Delpy Neirotti began her involvement
with the Olympics in 1983 as a student intern at the US Olympic training
facility in Colorado Springs, CO. Since then, she has gone to every
Games as a volunteer or researcher. She serves as an Olympic Games consultant
to various business organizations, including the effort to bring the
2012 Games to the Washington-Baltimore area.
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