Professor in demand for Olympic expertise

UMSL anthroplogy professor Susan Brownell is in high demand by the media for her expertise on the Olympic Games. She's quoted in numerous publications discussing the London 2012 Summer Olympics. (Photo by August Jennewein)

With the London Olympics just around the corner, the demand has increased for the expertise of a professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Susan Brownell, professor of anthropology at UMSL, is an expert on the Olympic Games, with a special emphasis on Chinese sports. She was in Beijing during the 2008 games and has written two books on China and the Olympics: “Beijing’s Games: What the Olympics Mean to China” and “Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People’s Republic.”

In a July 16 article in The Guardian, Brownell spoke about China’s state-supported sports system and how it helps propel those children who show athletic potential.

The Wall Street Journal also sought out her expertise for its Olympic coverage. In a July 19 WSJ article “How China’s Olympic Powerhouse Ran Out of Steam,” Brownell weighed in on China’s shifting emphasis to graduating more all-around athletes, preparing them for life after sports.

“There has been a big debate in China for years about the overemphasis on the pursuit of gold medals,” Brownell said in the article. “The whole debate has become more about expanding opportunities for the general populace.”

Brownell also spoke with KMOX (1120 AM) about the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.

Brownell was interviewed for a Q&A that appeared in The Atlantic in which she discussed China’s lasting impact on the Olympic Games. She also wrote the article “Human rights and the Beijing Olympics: Imagined global community and the transnational public sphere,” which ran in the June issue of the British Journal of Sociology.


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