Bates-related Olympics news items from campus, Sochi and in between
Here’s a roundup of Bates-relates Olympic news from home and abroad.
Emily Bamford ’15
Australian Olympic skier Emily Bamford ’15 talks with reporters about her preparations for her events. If you thought snow was snow, she notes that the Sochi snow “is really different from what we had in Europe. It’s taking some getting used to.”
At one point she references salt, which is sometimes applied to a course on a warm day though it seems counter-intuitive. The salt thaws the snow, which then refreezes into a harder and more consistent surface.
Her events, the giant slalom and slalom, are scheduled for Feb. 18 and 21, respectively.
Amy Bass ’92
A scholar of the Olympics and an Emmy-winning researcher for NBC Sports, Amy Bass ’92 recently penned essays for Slate about the political backdrop of the Sochi Games and for CNN Opinion on the apparent devaluation of bronze and silver — at least in terms of Olympic medals.
For all the criticisms of Russian politics and calls for a boycott, critics forget that “the Olympics have never been a freezing of world politics, but, rather, an opportunity to cut through the horror with moments of greatness,” she writes.
Still, “it is naive to think that sport is above politics, that any kind of level playing field exists, or that sport allows the world to put its problems on hold.”
Writing for CNN Opinion, Bass says that even for medal contenders who fall short, it is “enough just to be there.” Yet for others, winning a gold medal is all there is.
Bass, professor of history and director of the Honors Program at the College of New Rochelle, has worked eight Olympics for NBC Sports. She supervised the Research Room for the 2012 Summer Games in London, winning an Emmy along with her team.
Bates professor and cultural critic Erica Rand is an amateur figure skater who wrote Red Nails Black Skates: Gender, Cash, and Pleasure On and Off the Ice, a book that brings her academic expertise about sexuality, race and gender to bear on the curiously gendered world of figure skating.
Writing for the Duke University Press blog, Rand comments about the selection process that snubbed skater Mirai Nagasu, noting that the three skaters chosen over her “have a key credential that Nagasu lacks: the glorious glow of flowing blond hair that signals, if not always accurately, the highest echelons of whiteness and proper heterosexual femininity.”
Rand, the college’s Whitehouse Professor, has appointments in the Department of Art and Visual Culture and the Program in Women and Gender Studies.
Peter Carlisle ’91
Sports agent Peter Carlisle ’91 is once again at the Olympic Games.
Carlisle offers a few thoughts to Portland Press Herald columnist Steve Solloway about the feel of the Games.
The security presence in Sochi, he says, is like Goldbug, the little creature found on each page of Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. “Sometimes it’s hard to locate, but it’s always there,” said Carlisle.
Carlisle represents snowboarder Kelly Clark, among other athletes. In this story from the Arizona Republic prior to the games, Carlisle comments on the drive his client possesses.