York University experts available to comment on Olympic Games


TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2014 – As the XXII Olympic Winter Games kick off next week in Sochi, Russia, the following experts from York University are available to comment on various aspects of the Olympics and can be reached directly or through Media Relations.

Olympic Experience

Frances Flint, Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, fflint@yorku.ca

  • Flint can comment on physical or psychological aspects of injury, psychological aspects of performance, sports medicine (not related to performance-enhancing drugs or doping).  She has previous experience with Olympic Games in Barcelona and four Pan Am Games teams.

Sport and Performance

Joe Baker, Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, 416-736-2100 ext. 22361, bakerj@yorku.ca

  • Baker can comment on talent identification, athlete training and development, performance and aging, perception and cognition in sport and sports psychology.

Parissa Safai, Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, 416-736-2100 ext. 23040, psafai@yorku.ca

  • Safai can comment on the socio-cultural study of risk and risk-taking in sport; cultures of risk, pain and injury in sport (e.g., the tolerance of health-compromising practices in sport); the social determinants of athletes’ health; and the social organization and history of sport medicine in Canada.

Sports Psychology

Paul Dennis, Professor and High Performance Coach, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, 416-736-2100 ext. 22901, paulden@yorku.ca

  • Dennis can comment on psychological aspects of sport such as performance in high-pressure situations and overcoming challenges. Dennis is the high-performance coach for the York University Lions following 20 years as a development coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, assisting athletes and coaches with their mental preparation.

Jessica Fraser-Thomas, Assistant ProfessorSchool of Kinesiology & Health Science, 416-736-2100 ext. 20952, jft@yorku.ca

  • Fraser-Thomas can comment on sport psychology, mental training, youth sport, talent development, dropout, psychosocial influences of sport (parents, coaches and peers). Currently doing a study investigating the trickle-down effect of the Olympic Games among pre-schoolers – i.e. the role of the Olympics in influencing young children’s sport participation and development.

Security measures

Philip J. Boyle, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, 416-736-2100 ext. 77987, pjboyle@yorku.ca

  • Boyle can comment on the security, surveillance, and public safety aspects of the Games. His research focuses on contemporary forms of social regulation in the post-9/11 city and he has previously examined security governance at the Olympic Games and other urban mega-events.


Alan Middleton, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Schulich School of Business, 416-360-7917, amiddleton@schulich.yorku.ca

  • Middleton can comment on advertising and promotion, international marketing, marketing management and marketing strategy.

 NOTE: York University’s media studio is available for double-ended broadcast interviews.

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Media Contact: Tabassum Siddiqui, Media Relations, York University, (416) 736-2100 ext. 44543 / tsiddiq@yorku.ca