UNT experts available to discuss 2014 Winter Olympics
The following faculty members at the University of North Texas are available for media interviews on topics related to the 2014 Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 7 (Friday) in Sochi, Russia:
Tracy Everbach, a professor in UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism, will discuss the news media's coverage and representation of female athletes and how it compares to that of male athletes. She has researched media coverage of female athletes since 2005. She compared the coverage of male and female athletes at the last Summer Olympics games in London in 2012. She has also researched newspaper coverage of the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.
John Ishiyama, distinguished research professor in the Department of Political Science, will discuss U.S.-Russian relations and security measures taken by Russia during the Winter Olympics, and will also compare U.S.-Russian relations today with U.S. relations with the Soviet Union in 1980, when the Summer Olympics were in Moscow and boycotted by the U.S. Olympic team. Ishiyama has been a research fellow at the University of Kansas' Center for Russian and East European Studies since 2002.
Brian McFarlin, assistant professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation in the College of Education, can talk about the science behind the immune system – and how athletes can use nutrition to improve their immune health and help their muscles recover faster.
"An individual who is deficient for a given set of vitamins or minerals is more likely to have a compromised healing and recovery following a strenuous bout of exercise," he says.
McFarlin, who holds a doctoral degree in exercise physiology/gerontology, discussed immune health, inflammation, and nutrition at the 2013 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in December. He says immune health is a problem not just for athletes, but also for soldiers deployed to unfamiliar, stressful environments; physical laborers such as fire fighters and police offices; and doctors working long hours and facing sleep deprivation.
"Right now the way we treat injuries is the 'one size fits all approach,' but the way we need to treat injuries to improve recovery is by tailoring treatments to match the person's symptoms and health status," McFarlin says.
Trent Petrie, professor of psychology and director of UNT's Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence, will be available to discuss how athletes prepare themselves mentally for their events and how they cope with adversity, such as poor performances, injuries and negative media coverage, to remain focused and motivated for the Olympics. He will also discuss how mental toughness plays a role in successful performance.