From providing language translation to offering medical and dental care, from making sure athletes get on the right buses to encouraging spectators to recycle, the Emory community has joined in the excitement of the 1996 Olympic Games. Not only will Cyrus Beasley '95C be rowing for the gold, but a host of faculty, staff and students will be among those behind-the-scenes volunteers who make sure everything goes smoothly.
Carrying the torch
Before the Games can officially begin the Olympic torch must make its way from Greece to the United States, and then from the west coast to Atlanta. Two Emory employees are among the 5,500 torchbearers who will carry the torch to Atlanta. Thad Ghim, an associate professor of hematology, will join the torch relay on July 18. An avid runner, Ghim said the idea of carrying the torch seemed natural to him. But when he lifts the torch and runs, he'll be running for his pediatric cancer patients. "I thought that if they know I will carry the torch on their behalf, it might lift their spirits," he said.
Patrick Kelly, a physician's assistant in Emory Hospital's pain consultation service, also will carry the torch. Selected by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) as one of the "community heroes that best represent the Olympic spirit," Kelly will attach the Olympic torch to his wheelchair and begin his one-kilometer (.62 miles) leg of the relay on either July 17 or 18.
Many other events have led up to the actual Olympic Games. The Georgia Quilt Project, supported by ACOG and the Atlanta History Center, has involved 397 quilters from Georgia, providing quilts for each participating country. Four Emory staff members have created quilts: Dian Rice, a receptionist in Athletics and Recreation, has created a quilt for the Cuban Olympic Committee; Emory Hospital employee Ulla Marzec's quilt will be presented to the Sweden Olympic Committee; Mary Lou Mojonnier of the Department of Medicine has sewn a quilt for the Lao People's Democratic Republic flag bearer; and Radine Robinson of the law school has provided the quilt for the Nigerian Olympic Committee.
The opening ceremonies
The Games will officially open on July 19. Tickets to opening ceremonies have been extremely difficult to obtain, but several Emory people will be there as participants. Emory Hospital social worker Paula Saunders, Emory Clinic staffer Andrea Smith, Pamela McGuire (Paula's sister) and Sheryl Pollard comprise the critically acclaimed gospel group D'Vine, and they will add their voices to the Centennial Choir at the Opening Ceremonies. They will perform several other times during the games, including: July 14, 1 p.m., at the Olympic Village; July 20, 3 p.m. at the Centennial Olympic Park; July 22, 2 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park; July 24, 3 p.m. at the Centennial Olympic Park; and July 27, 7 p.m. at the Olympic Village. On July 28 at 6 p.m. they will perform in a live concert at The Mansion, which will be taped for broadcast in Germany.
Colleen Kingston '95C, the undergraduate secretary in the Department of Sociology, also is a member of the Centennial Olympic Choir singing at the Opening Ceremony. The choir is composed of The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus (of which she is a member) as well as the Spelman and Morehouse College Glee Clubs.
Belinda Sue Smith, senior user services assistant in the Chemistry Library, will be a field marshall for the opening and closing ceremonies, and Dan Magee, assistant coordinator of Recreational Services, will participate in both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Ten Emory students have been practicing twice a week since early May to participate in a stepping performance during the Opening Ceremonies. Stepping, which originated in Africa, is a rhythmic dance involving a series of steps that is usually done in unified groups. Tamara Nall, Cicely Breckenridge, Brittany Cunningham, Danyelle Fredrick, Marguerite McClinton, Rachel Miriam Roberts, Kim Smith, Wilma Tilson, Kadio Welch and Wenonah Wood will perform.
Offering spiritual support
When the athletes hit town, they will represent a plethora of cultures and religions. Emory employees such as Sociology Professor Samar Mitra and Emory Hospital Director of Staff Support Services Steve Overall will be among those offering spiritual support. Mitra will serve as the Hindu chaplain for the athletes and others at the Olympic Village. Overall, who has chaired ACOG's Interfaith Advisory Group, will oversee the volunteer staff of 29 pastoral associates for the Olympic Village.
Just helping out
John Connerat, assistant to the director in the Publications Office and a long-time Special Olympics volunteer, used his past experience to organize and plan for the ACOG Venue Communications Center on the Emory campus. During the Olympics, he will manage venue communications and operations in the evenings.
Cynthia Shaw, director of Student Development in Campus Life, said that volunteering for the Olympics is just a natural extension of who she is as a person. "I like the fact of sharing who I am (African American woman) and my experiences in my adopted city (Atlanta) with citizens from all over the world." Shaw has been assigned to be an usher/ticket taker at the volleyball venue in the Omni.
Edna Bay, associate professor of African Studies with an appointment in the Institute of the Liberal Arts, will be a zone captain during the marathon and cycling events.
Scott Outman, who works in the Office of Information Services at the School of Public Health, will be working as an information services specialist at the Stone Mountain Tennis Center, troubleshooting the software packages currently being developed and assisting the press, guests and athletes in using the computing resources at the venue.
Michael Weathers, financial controller at The Emory Clinic, will serve on the race committee for the yachting fleets. "In particular I will work on the `finish boat,' which in coordination with a `finish pin boat' has the responsibility of establishing the line that competitors cross," he explained.
An event services supervisor of Venue Management at the Centennial Olympic Stadium, Director of Compliance in the Equal Opportunity Office Kelley Turney characterizes her Olympic volunteering as not very glamorous, but fun. During the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June, she "personally guarded Louis Gossett Jr. for about 30 minutes and met the chair of the board for the Swatch Company, as well as seeing Gwen Torrence win the 100 meter, [Michael] Johnson break the world record and Jackie Joyner Kersee come in second, by a second, even though she had a cold."
Paul Higgins, a student in the MBA/MDiv joint degree program and a team leader in the Open Systems Group in ITD, will be an usher at the Georgia World Congress Center for weightlifting, table tennis and handball events.
Joice Barnard works with the Emory System of Healthcare as part of the PowerChart project, a clinical data repository for Emory Hospital, The Emory Clinic and Crawford Long Hospital. Barnard volunteered as a member of the Atlanta Track Club and has been assigned to the men's and women's marathon and cycling events at the Olympic Stadium. She also will work in the Olympic Village as a National Olympic Committee (NOC) messenger, running messages from the NOC Center to the various delegations.
Marcia Hendricks, administrative coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry, will be working at the baseball venue as an event services coordinator, which she says is "a fancy term for usher." She'll be there from 3 p.m.-midnight almost every night during the Olympics, making sure people have the right tickets and helping them find their seats. She volunteered through Delta Air Lines, where her father worked. "When they were asking for volunteers, my dad had just been diagnosed with cancer. He has since died," she said. "I know he would have loved doing this, and I'm doing it for my dad, since he couldn't do it."
A data entry specialist in the Facilities Management Division, Annie Carey will be working with Press Operations at the Olympic Village this summer. As a press steward, she will hand out day passes and assist press with information, directions and equipment.
A micro-computer specialist for the Library Systems Office at the Woodruff Library, Mel Cragwell will be working with security at the Centennial Olympic Park. "This is a once in a lifetime event for me. I think of myself as a member of the global village. As a volunteer for the Olympics, I will get to meet my neighbors."
Rod Gary's volunteer service with the Olympics began in 1990, and he has logged more than 600 volunteer hours with test events, the Cultural Olympiad, IOC meetings and accreditation. During the games, he will work for Athlete Services at the Olympic Village. Gary is a construction planner in Facilities Management.
Betty Goetz, radiation safety officer in Environmental Health and Safety, is volunteering for the Lilburn Cooperative, which is staffing the food concessions at the tennis venue in Stone Mountain. A group of Lilburn area churches, the Lilburn Cooperative, that provides emergency assistance for people going through hard times, will provide 48 people per day to staff the food concessions. In return, the cooperative will receive 10 percent of the proceeds.
With athletes traveling from the Olympic Village to all the various venues and back again, volunteers will be vital in making sure athletes get where they are supposed to go. Emory transportation volunteers include Chandra Mobley, a Behavioral Sciences and Health Education student in the School of Public Health who will be stationed at Agnes Scott College; Susan Mistretta, indirect support coordinator with ITD, stationed at the Stone Mountain archery and velodrome sites; Judy Davenport, medical records assistant at the Rehabilitation Center, stationed at the Olympic stadium; and Janet Lutz and Bob Morris of the Emory Center for Pastoral Services, who will serve as VIP drivers, transporting Olympic officials.
While many employees will take vacation time in order to volunteer, some such as Jonathan Pettigrew are essentially working double shifts. After working 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. as a landscaper in Facilities Management, Pettigrew will transition to his volunteer job as a driver for ACOG. From 5 p.m -1 a.m., he will transport Olympic VIPs, then hurry home for a few hours' sleep. On the weekends, he will work with a task force that is organizing recycling efforts at the Olympic venues.
Bridging the gap
Those volunteering as Olympic envoys and associate envoys will serve as ACOG representatives to the various delegations. They will be living in the Olympic Village, doing, as several of these volunteers expressed, "anything and everything."
Maria Lunk, senior lecturer in the Russian department, will be serving as an envoy for the Russian Olympic athletes. Lunk began working with ACOG in May, when she met liaisons from the NOCs. Working with Lunk as associate envoys are Associate Professor of Russian Studies Alan Cienki, and rising seniors Andrew Crossley and Mara Finklestein. Oksana Foltyn, Russian department lecturer, will serve as an envoy for the team from Ukraine, and Alexander Kutikov, a rising sophomore in the College, will be an associate envoy for the team from Azerbaijan.
Judy Raggi-Moore, senior lecturer in French and Italian, will be the envoy for the Republic of San Marino. She has recruited her students to be associates and drivers, so she can witness first-hand the effectiveness of their studies in Italian. Michelle Kouletio, a student in the School of Public Health, is an Olympic Envoy to the Togolese National Olympic Committee. Melissa Danielsson, art registrar for The Carter Center, will be an associate envoy with the Canadian delegation. Oxford Professor of Spanish Jim Warburton will be Olympic envoy to the team from Paraguay (see story on page 3).
Those working in protocol and as translators also will be called on to help athletes from the various countries bridge the gaps in language and culture. Maria Yazbak, a computer Support Specialist in ITD, will be a protocol officer at the Boxing Venue (Alexander Memorial Coliseum), assisting IOC members, officials of the Boxing Sports Federation, dignitaries, heads-of-state, royalty and other VIPs.
Assistant Professor of Marketing Atul Parvatiyar will be a venue protocol manager at the Clark Atlanta University Field Hockey Venue. He will be responsible for management and control of the Olympic Family stands and lounge where the IOC, NOC, International Sports Federation and other VIPs will be hosted. Lori Miller, an MPH student in the School of Public Health who volunteered at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, also will work in the Protocol Department.
Ursula Kaminski, a receptionist in the Oxford College Student Center, will serve as a volunteer in the protocol area at the equestrian venue in Conyers, translating for the German-speaking members of the IOC attending equestrian events. Renata Davis, a student in the School of Public Health, will serve as a German translator for the track and field venue.
Anandhi Ranganathan and Wasim Mzayek, Humphrey Fellows in the School of Public Health, have volunteered their services in translation; Ranganathan will work as an English-Hindi language facilitator at the shooting venue, while Mzayek will work with linguistic services at the track and field venue.
Joyce Piatt, a member of the Woodruff Library administrative staff, will be an envoy team driver for Nicaragua. With the support of her director, Joan Gotwals, she was able to commit for the required six-week period, balancing the demands of the Olympics with a flexible 20-hour-a-week work schedule at Emory.
Keeping the world healthy
Emory is known for its medical expertise, and that expertise will be called upon during the Olympics. Charles R. Hatcher Jr., the University's retiring vice president for health affairs, will serve as honorary co-chair of the Olympic Medical Support Group, a committee that also includes Crawford Long's medical director, Harold Ramos. Crawford Long Nursing Director Barbara Sverdlik is working as a loaned executive to ACOG to oversee the hospital's preparations. Crawford Long is the host hospital for the games.
Adjunct Professor S. Boyd Eaton, a radiologist and medical anthropologist, is medical director of the large polyclinic for the Olympic Village. The clinic will provide health care for all athletes, coaches, trainers and others staying at the Olympic Village. Dental services and eye care will be available around the clock to accommodate the enormous number of requests for these services expected from athletes from developing areas. Cassandra Moultrie, a coder in the Medical Records Department at Emory Hospital, will be working as a receptionist at the polyclinic.
John Carter, a senior associate in epidemiology in the School of Public Health, will be an Olympic surveillance officer, monitoring selected area hospitals for Olympics-related unusual events and illnesses.
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics Robert Frederick is the medical director for all gymnastics venues, and Thomas Moore, assistant professor of orthopaedics and a trauma surgeon, is one of the physicians in charge of the badminton venues. Lamar Fleming, chair of orthopaedics, will provide medical support for athletes at the tennis venue. Patricia (Skippy) Mattson, head of outpatient physical therapy for the Department of Orthopaedics at the Emory Sports Medicine and Spine Centers, is an official trainer for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
Michael Gruber, a rising senior biology major in the College, will work with the American Red Cross, which is providing a First Responder program.
Ramona Minnis, Terri Acker and Gary Berliner, physicians who are pursuing their MPH degrees, are volunteering with the Olympics as part of their Environmental and Occupational Health rotation, assessing food safety at the various venues.
Health and fitness experts also will be on 24-hour call during the Olympics to offer information to the international media on topics ranging from biomechanics, heat-related problems, sports injuries, steroids, sun burn and sudden death in young athletes.
Those already associated with athletics and recreation seem the most likely group to volunteer for the Olympics. Health and Physical Education professor Clyde Partin has served on the Education Committee for ACOG as well as other short-term projects. He will be working in the Olympic Village as an assistant venue manager in charge of volunteers and also in the Human Resources Center located at Georgia Tech.
Cross-country and track coach John Curtin is on sabbatical working for ACOG as assistant to the sport chair of athletics (track and field). He will help organize practices and competitions, as well as coordinate venue staffing and transportation for athletes.
Head Women's Tennis Coach Cathy Benton will serve as supervisor for "Athlete Services," while Head Volleyball Coach Jennifer McDowell will serve as administrative support coordinator for the volleyball venue in Athens. Head Men's Soccer Coach Mike Rubesch will serve as training site coordinator for the soccer venue in Athens. Head Women's Soccer Coach Michael Sabatelle, also at the soccer venue, will serve as results control operator and will be the chief spotter for the statistics crew.
Closer to home, Interim Head Track and Field Coach Joe Klim will serve as training site coordinator for athletics (primarily track and field) at the Emory track. He also will be participating in the opening ceremonies. Head Baseball Coach Kevin Howard will serve as training site coordinator for baseball at Emory's Chappell Park.
--Nancy M. Spitler