FSU experts available to discuss various aspects of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games

As the world prepares for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Florida State University faculty experts are available to discuss various aspects of the event.


Timothy Baghurst, professor and director, Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching (FSU COACH), College of Education
(850) 644-3486; tbaghurst@fsu.edu 

Baghurst’s research focuses on coaching education and development with specific interests in coaching ethics, coach/athlete health and well-being and variables that affect elite performance. He has worked with sport organizations affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC), and he currently serves as President of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education.

“The Olympics serve as the pinnacle of sports achievement for many athletes, but the same could be said for their coaches. How they prepare their athletes for the unique mental and physical challenges that Olympics provide may be the difference between a podium finish or the four-year wait to try again. The pressure to perform well when it matters cannot be understated, and success and failure will depend on the many nuanced details that have been coached, trained and refined for the moment it really counts.”

Megan Buning, teaching faculty, Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching (FSU COACH), College of Education
(850) 645-4759; m.buning@fsu.edu 

Buning is a certified mental performance consultant and is listed on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s registry (USOPC) of approved mental performance providers.

“The past year has truly exposed the importance of paying attention to both mental health and the mental performance. All dimensions of the game from game officials to coaches to athletes have been affected by circumstances of today’s environment. In the summer, we saw athletes succeed and others struggle on the biggest stage with either mental health or mental performance. My hope is those involved in the Winter Olympics took notes and placed more emphasis on their well-being and state of mind by connecting with mental health and performance professionals. The health and strength of the mental game is what makes or breaks performers regardless of what type of performance.”

Svenja A. Wolf, Assistant Professor, Sport Psychology program, College of Education

Wolf is an assistant professor of sport and performance psychology. She researches group dynamics and emotions with a specific focus on the experience and consequences of collective emotions.

“What makes the Olympics the Olympics? Arguably, there is something unique about the event that goes beyond mere athletic prowess and rather has something to do with the world coming together for two weeks as performers, staff, reporters, spectators — the Olympic community. This winter, however, the community will have to foster this sense of connection and support once more under pandemic conditions. How will athletes be able to share and potentially multiply their excitement? How will coaches instill confidence in their teams and connect with their colleagues? How will we as spectators catch the spark that makes the Olympics so unique? Beijing 2022 will show to what extent we are able to keep the Olympic spirit aflame without much direct interaction and if the tools we have acquired over the past years can in any way compensate for that.”


Nathaniel Line, associate professor, Dedman College of Hospitality
(850) 645-2710; nline@dedman.fsu.edu

Line studies marketing and consumer behavior in the hospitality industry. His primary research is on the behavior of hotel and restaurant patrons and their reaction to consumption environments. Line is available to comment on topics pertaining to consumer trends and behavior in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.

“Mega events like the Olympics are a complicated financial equation for host countries. There are many stakeholders that stand to incur both benefits and costs. Moreover, these benefits and costs vary across the short- to long-term time horizon. For hotels, there is certainly a short-term boost in revenue associated with an increased demand for lodging during the event. Often, there is even a need to develop additional hotel supply in advance of mega events to accommodate the demand surge. The problem, however, is that filling the additional rooms becomes quite difficult once the event has passed, resulting in decreased average occupancies in host cities.”