UT’s Stark Center Named One Of Nation’s Two Sites For Olympic Research

The International Olympic Committee has chosen UT’s H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports to be one of just two Olympic Studies Centers in the United States.

Before joining Northeastern University’s Sport in Society, the Stark Center had to gain the support of the U.S. Olympic Committee then be approved by the International Olympic Committee. The international committee determined the Stark Center could make considerable contributions to the Olympic movement study with its staff and assets and the research it has produced on doping in sport. Leaders at the center, including co-directors Terry Todd and Jan Todd, have researched the topic extensively.

“We’ve wanted for some time to be able to establish a research entity focusing on the Olympic movement,” says Terry Todd. “When the center moved into its new home in 2009, we finally had the staff and space we needed to be able to pool our resources and work with other like-minded entities on campus to make a really significant contribution toward understanding how sports, physical activity, and fair play can be better understood.”

The staff includes associate director of library services Cindy Slater, who spent more than 20 years as manager of library and archives at the U.S. Olympic Committee Training Center in Colorado Springs.

The Stark Center’s Institute for Olympic Studies will produce journal articles, hold symposia, and sponsor lectures. Faculty, students, and staff are working to create an oral history of the 1968 Olympic games held in Mexico City by partnering with members of that year’s U.S. Olympic team. Olympians Tom Lough, Jim Moore, and Doug Russell have been interviewed so far with additional interviews scheduled throughout the 2011 spring semester.

The center has long been renowned for its study of physical culture and collection of exercise artifacts. In its home in the north end of the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium it has exhibition galleries open to the public that feature sports-focused fine art, photography, and memorabilia. 

Photo of Stark Center directors Jan and Terry Todd by Valerie Cook/The Alcalde.


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