News / USA

    US College Students Get 'On The Job Training' at Vancouver Olympics

    Most visitors to the Olympics come to enjoy the sporting events and take in the atmosphere. But a group of Washington D.C. students traveled to the Vancouver Winter Games to learn about sports marketing and management.

    George Washington University students meet with a USA Today journalist in the Main Press Center at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, 26 Feb. 2010
    George Washington University students meet with a USA Today journalist in the Main Press Center at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, 26 Feb. 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Parke Brewer

    This is the 10th time Lisa Delpy Neirotti has accompanied college students to an Olympic Games.  Neirotti is a professor for Sports Management at the George Washington University, and 28 students from the Business School are with her in Vancouver studying the management and marketing of the Olympic Games.

    Through the years she has built up relationships with people connected to the Olympics to make these educational visits successful.

    "We're meeting with people from IOC members all the way down to volunteers, including USOC, VANOC, sponsors from the top level to the national level, to suppliers," Neirotti said.

    Professor Neirotti told VOA she meets with the students well in advance and warns them that the Olympic trips are not about fun and games.

    "This is a rigorous course," she said. "The students are just dead tired.  I mean we go from 8[am] to 5 or 6[pm], and then they're expected to go out and collect surveys.  They collect a minimum of 50 surveys each of spectators."

    And the students do that after their class time and their behind-the-scenes meetings and tours.

    Neirotti says she also expects the students to attend sporting events, and they must purchase their own tickets.  

    "The students are on their own to find tickets, but I help them," she said. "I have some connections with all the different ticket agencies, not just from the United States but from all different countries.  So at least I can point them in the right direction."

    For obvious reasons it's an expensive college course to be enrolled in, says Neirotti.  Students must not only pay the normal university course tuition, but they must cover the cost for airfare, local transportation, housing, food, tickets and, of course, souvenirs.

    Professor Neirotti was able to find a youth hostel so the students pay a modest $40 a night compared to other lodging options.  She said they don't spend much time there, so they don't need anything better.

    "I actually have them sign a form saying you will be running, you will skip meals, you will not get [much] sleep," Neirotti said.  "And, you know, they think I'm kind of joking when I have them sign this form.  But when we're here it's in preparation for if they work a Games.  I mean I know the staff of VANOC [Vancouver organizers] and media; they don't get much sleep when they're here because they're working."

    George Washington University Professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti and student Morgan Goerke at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, 26 Feb. 2010
    George Washington University Professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti and student Morgan Goerke at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, 26 Feb. 2010

    Student Morgan Goerke confirms her professor's claims.

    "She's not lying.  I think I've eaten lunch once in the past week, and we literally run from one event to another, across traffic and through crowds and crowds, but it's very important that we make a good impression so we try to get there on time, and that sometimes involves running," she said.

    The students are getting some journalistic experience as well, as they are writing an Internet blog at sportsfanlive.com.  

    Professor Neirotti says it's been well received.

    "Thousands of people have come to the site to see the unique experiences that our students are experiencing here," she said.

    Just like athletes and spectators have their special moments at an Olympics, Neirotti beamed when she told about her special moment in Vancouver.

    "I was at the USA House the other day talking to somebody about our student group, and I went on after our discussion, and then he came back and he came over and shook my hand and said how impressed he was with what we were doing," she said. "And when he shook my hand, inside was $400, and he said I want you to take the students out for a good meal."

    As for sightseeing, there's little time for that during their studies at the Olympics, but the students are welcome to stay for a bit on their own afterwards - if, of course, they are not worn out.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora