Memo to Reporters: Campus experts look to London Olympics

With the Summer Olympics in London just around the corner, several University of California, Berkeley, experts are available to address related issues, including the economic value of hosting the Olympics, the importance of athletics and how to untangle traffic in a city teeming with visitors.


Andrew Rose, Bernard T. Rocca Jr. Professor of International Business at the Haas School of Business,, (510) 642-6609

Rose coauthored a 2011 academic article, “Do Mega Sporting Events Promote International Trade?that reports an “Olympic Effect” for cities hosting major sporting events such as the Olympics.  While there’s no proof of net economic benefit, the researchers found that host cities/countries do experience a substantial and permanent increase in trade. Rose also wrote an April 2009 commentary for, “Why bid for the Olympic Games?”

Greek beginnings

Kim Shelton, assistant professor of classics and director of UC Berkeley’s Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology in Nemea, Greece,

Shelton is an authority on classical archaeology, ancient religion and mythology, ceramics and the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece around the Aegean Sea.  She is in Nemea, Greece this summer, where UC Berkeley has long excavated at a site of the early Panhellenic Games, an athletic and religious festival that was the precursor to the Olympics. She is overseeing the excavation, study, conservation and public presentation of the Sanctuary of Zeus and Hellenistic Stadium there.

Play, sport and education

Derek Van Rheenan, director of UC Berkeley’s Athletic Study Center, assistant adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Education and a former professional soccer player, (510) 642-0605,

Van Rheenan is the author of a forthcoming article, “”A Century of Historical Change in the Game Preferences of American Children.” He also has written about the exploitation of college athletes.

Sociology and psychology of sport

Robb Willer, assistant professor of sociology, (510) 643-5444,

Willer  can discuss aspects of the sociology and psychology of sports, such as intergroup competition, reciprocity in team sports, stereotypes and perception of athletes, as well as gender and masculinity. His teaching and research focus on the bases of social order.

Transportation and traffic

Robert C. Cervero, professor of city and regional planning, director of the UC Transportation Center and the Institute of Urban and Regional Development,, (510) 642-1695.

Cervero conducted preliminary transportation training for Rio de Janiero planners in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics.