He helps Olympic athletes broaden their experience
If you think that the only thing that counts during the London 2012 Olympics is what’s taking place at the Olympic Park Aquatics Center or the Olympic Stadium, then have a chat with Gary Rhodes, director of the Center for Global Education
Rhodes knows there’s much more for an Olympic athlete to gain than points on a scoreboard or medals. And he’s helping them broaden and enrich this memorable experience with a new resource website, WorldWiseAthlete.com
It’s there that athletes can find "An Athletes Guide to London," 10 tips for a successful London Olympics, a history of the games, the philosophy and values behind the Olympic movement, what globalization and youth development are all about, a how-to guide to connect with athletes from other parts of the world , and a list of current programs and organizations that help athletes give back to others.
The site was released during the Olympic Games, but the center plans to keep it going after the London Olympics with expanded content.
"We are taking the work the Center for Global Education has done with U.S. study abroad students and international students studying in the U.S.," said Rhodes, "and linking that to international learning, global understanding and youth development, and with the opportunities that athletes at the Olympics and other athletes at high-profile events have to make a positive impact on others beyond the competition for gold, silver and bronze [medals]."
The Center for Global Education, based in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, is an international research and resource center that provides support for international learning at colleges and universities. It offers information and resources to faculty, staff, students and parents on a variety of topics, including integrated international learning, health, safety, diversity and the impact of study abroad on student retention and success.
Gary Rhodes (right), director of the Center for Global Education, holds an Olympic torch with Antoine de Navacelle, great-nephew of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games.
Rhodes sees the London Olympics as a prime opportunity to help athletes go beyond the boundaries of the sports arena. On Friday, he gave a presentation, "Connecting Sport, Education, Development of Youth and International Relations," at the International Pierre de Coubertin Olympic Symposium on "Olympism, Olympic Education and Learning Legacies."
The symposium, held at Canterbury Christ Church University in Canterbury, England, focused on the wide range of educational opportunities that an Olympic host city should have as well as on Coubertin’s vision, values and ideals on Olympism. Coubertin was the founder of the modern Olympic Games.
While in London, Rhodes, who oversees the California Community College (CCC) Student Outcomes Abroad Research Project, will be interviewing current CCC study-abroad faculty, staff and students on the impact of their international learning and its connection to their retention and success in college.