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Experts List: China and the 2008 Olympics

By Mitchel Benson on July 29, 2008 in

As the world is turning its attention to Beijing next week for the 2008 Summer Olympics, UC Davis experts are prepared to answer a wide variety of questions about the games and China. From nutrition to economics, and from track and field to Chinese culture, the following experts are available for comment on the international competition itself and the worldwide stage of China.

  • The games: Athletic performance, nutrition and psychology
  • Chinese culture, society and economics
  • Air pollution and the environment


NUTRITION AND FITNESS -- Liz Applegate, a nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness, is a faculty member in the nutrition department and the director of sports nutrition. Applegate consults frequently for U.S. Olympic athletes and is the team nutritionist for the Oakland Raiders football team. She is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a member of the Sports and Cardiovascular Nutritionists, a practice group of the American Dietetic Association. Applegate also writes the popular Fridge Wisdom nutrition column for Runners World magazine and has authored six books on nutrition. Contact: Liz Applegate, Nutrition, (530) 752-6682, [email protected].

TRACK AND FIELD -- Women's track and field coach Deanne Vochatzer served as head coach of the U.S. women's track and field team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She is a consultant for Nike, the National High School Coaches Association and the U.S. Justice Department on alcohol and drug education for athletics, and has commentated for ESPN. She was the director of competition for the 2000 track and field Olympic trials in Sacramento and was inducted into the U.S. Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002. She also recently served as running events manager for the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Contact: Deanne Vochatzer, Track, (530) 752-5057, [email protected].

BICYCLE DESIGN AND CYCLIST PERFORMANCE -- Maury Hull, a professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering and a professor in the biomedical engineering program, directs ongoing cycling-related research programs at the UC Davis Biomechanical Engineering in Sports Laboratory. He studies ways to optimize cyclist performance and prevent knee injuries as well as bicycle design to optimize structural components and suspensions. His research has been sponsored by industry leaders Trek, Specialized, Shimano, GT and Rock Shox. He has also raced bicycles competitively for 20 years. In 2008, he received the inaugural award from Bicycling Magazine for Excellence in Applied Science Research. Contact: Maury Hull, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, (530) 752-6220 (office), (530) 795-4788 (home), [email protected].

PSYCHOLOGY OF SPORT AND TEAM DYNAMICS -- Paul Salitsky, a lecturer in exercise biology, studies the psychological aspects of sport and exercise. He has coached women's volleyball at the international, club and NCAA Division I level. Salitsky has conducted more than 350 clinics and workshops on the mental skills needed for performance success in 25 different sports. A certified consultant for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), Salitsky has been listed on the U.S. Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology Registry since 2000. Salitsky is also a mentor trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance and has been a coaching educator for more than 15 years. Contact: Paul Salitsky, Exercise Biology, (530) 752-3381, [email protected].

BIOMECHANICS, MOVEMENT PERFORMANCE AND INJURY PREVENTION -- David Hawkins, a biomechanist, studies what influences skeletal muscle performance and human movement. His work at the UC Davis Human Performance Laboratory aims to develop tools and training strategies that can assist people afflicted with various musculoskeletal disorders, as well as prevent injury and maximize athletic performance. He can talk about properties of biological tissues (i.e. bone, ligament, tendon and muscle) and how they respond to exercise and disuse. Contact: David Hawkins, Exercise Biology, (530) 752-2748, [email protected].

EQUINE CARE -- The husband-and-wife veterinary team of Jack Snyder and Sharon Spier will coordinate the equine veterinary facility for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. The equestrian events, featuring approximately 280 competing horses, will be held at two venues in Hong Kong. Snyder and Spier will lead an international corps of 30 veterinarians, who will advise the veterinarians accompanying the horses. They will be prepared to evaluate lameness, treat injuries and even perform emergency surgeries. Snyder will be in charge of surgical procedures while Spier, an internal medicine specialist, will deal with infections and internal diseases. Contact, Jack Snyder, School of Veterinary Medicine, [email protected]; Sharon Spier, School of Veterinary Medicine, [email protected].

LZR RACER SWIMSUIT -- You-Lo Hsieh teaches fiber science, polymer chemistry and clothing materials science at the senior and graduate levels. Hsieh is active in several graduate programs including Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Science and Textiles. Hsieh's research is in the area of fiber and polymer materials science including biopolymers (cellulose, chitosan, proteins and enzymes), nanofibers and nanoporous fibers, wetting and absorbent properties of porous materials, and functional polymers. She holds several U.S. and international patents. Contact: You-Lo Hsieh, Textiles and Clothing, (530) 752-0843, [email protected].


CHINESE CULTURE AND SOCIETY -- Sheldon Lu is a professor of comparative literature who can talk about the daily lives of contemporary Chinese as they make the transition from a socialist lifestyle to the new capitalist economy. Lu draws on Chinese literature, film, art, photography and video for scholarly insights into China in the 21st century. Contact: Sheldon Lu, Comparative Literature, (530) 754-8324, [email protected].

CHINA'S SOCIAL CHANGE -- As China transitions from a socialist system toward a globally connected market economy, the country is undergoing vast social changes, especially in regard to the equality of women. UC Davis sociologist Xiaoling Shu studies social stratification, gender, and social demography in China. Among her publications is research on changes in job and wage inequality among men and women in China. Her current research focuses on the impact of globalization on gender, marriage, family and sexual values in China. Contact: Xiaoling Shu, Sociology, (530) 752-2825, [email protected].

PACIFIC RIM TRADE AND POLICY -- Colin Carter, professor of agricultural and resource economics, is an expert on Pacific Rim trade and policy. Carter has most recently been investigating the implications of China's entry into the World Trade Organization and has been advising international organizations about the economic influence of China. Contact: Colin Carter, Agricultural and Resource Economics, (530) 752-6054, [email protected].

ECONOMICS -- Wing Thye Woo, a professor of economics, is one of the world's leading experts on Asian economics. He concentrates on international and domestic macroeconomics, economic growth and comparative economic systems. Currently he is studying economic geography, fiscal decentralization, restructuring of state-owned enterprises and international capital flows. Woo has served as special adviser to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, accompanying the secretary to a meeting with China's president in 1997. Contact: Wing Thye Woo, Economics, (202) 797-4370, [email protected].

BANKING, INVESTMENTS, ECONOMY -- Ning Zhu, associate professor of finance, specializes in behavioral finance, corporate finance and investments. He recently won the best paper award at the Cass School of Business's Emerging Markets Group Conference, where he presented his study, "Does Bank Ownership Increase Value: Evidence from China." Zhu is currently on a year-long sabbatical to serve as head of quantitative strategies for Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong, but he will be available for comment. Contact: Ning Zhu, Graduate School of Management, (852) 9848-2096 (cell phone number in Hong Kong), [email protected].

ART -- Katharine Burnett is an associate professor of art history and a faculty associate in the East Asian Studies Program. Her field of interest is in Chinese Art and Culture. She can talk about Chinese art and culture generally, as well as propaganda art and how the government has shaped the way the public understands its sense of history and culture since 1949 through propaganda poster art. Contact: Katharine Burnett, Art History, (530) 752-0105, [email protected].


Thomas A. Cahill, a professor of physics and an emeritus professor of atmospheric sciences, has done work on Chinese pollution and aerosols since 1980, most recently in the massive National Science Foundation-sponsored ACE-Asia experiment of spring and summer, 2001. He and his students and colleagues have published several key papers on the impact of trans-Pacific air pollution on the U.S. Currently, he heads the DELTA Group (Detection and Evaluation of Long-range Transport of Aerosols, with ongoing programs in China, Australia, the Czech Republic, the Greenland ice cap, New York City, Lake Tahoe, and six more local programs in California. Contact: Thomas A. Cahill, Land, Air Water Resources, (530) 752-1120, [email protected].

Media (s)

Mitchel Benson, (530) 752-9844, [email protected]


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