3 QUESTIONS TO…
Please share with us your first special memory of the Games.
My first memories come from watching the Olympic Games Rome 1960. It was the beginning of the age of television, so my first memories are actually watching the great Olympic champions on the TV screen. The magic of the Games immediately captured my imagination as a young boy. The images of athletes like Abebe Bikila winning the marathon bare-footed, or Cassius Clay, known later as Muhammad Ali, winning his gold medal in boxing, were my first memories of the Olympic Games.
Which personality in Olympic history has inspired you the most, and why?
Wilma Rudolph made a lasting impression on me. She was one of the most memorable athletes at the Olympic Games Rome 1960. Everyone referred to her as the “Gazelle” because she combined great power and speed with elegance. She was the first American woman to win three gold medals at the Olympic Games. What impressed me even more was that she had to overcome polio as a child, but never gave up on her Olympic dream. There is a saying that first impressions last forever, and in my case, Wilma Rudolph was my first impression of a true champion.
What importance does academic research have for the work of the Olympic Movement?
Academic research enriches the collective memory for the Olympic Movement. The knowledge that is collected and shared through the work of the Olympic Studies Centre is fundamental to the identity of the Olympic family. It provides the intellectual foundation for us to spread the ideals of sport and the spirit of Olympism in today’s world. Academic researchers also help us in the development of medium and long-term operational projects, in particular via our Advanced Research Grant Programme. This programme provides excellent opportunities to strengthen the collaboration between the academic community and the Olympic Movement.