Thematic Series: The Olympic Games in Myth and Reality

Convenors: , Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UBC; Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, Faculty of Law, UBC

Dates: Sept 14, Sept 28, Oct 5, Oct 19, Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 16, Nov 30, Dec 7

Vancouver will soon host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, promoted by the organizers and government as a major benefit for Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada. Yet negative impacts of the Games are already being felt: cost overruns have become routine; the Athletes’ Village risks making the City of Vancouver insolvent; there has been environmental damage; unceded Indigenous land and resources are being exploited; and homelessness has increased by over 400% since 2003. These realities on the ground have added force to the arguments of Olympic resistance organizations, determined to protest the Games. The University of British Columbia is providing venues for several Olympic events, at considerable cost. Games security will significantly inhibit the movements of students and staff from January through March 2010. The University hosted an Olympic forum as a “Dialogue” in January 2009 but there has otherwise been little critical debate at UBC about the Games.

This Green College Thematic Lecture Series seeks to redress the deficit of discussion by presenting experts on various aspects of the Vancouver Olympics and on the wider context of the Olympics “industry.”

Full descriptions of talks are available in the series program, and on the Calendar of Events by date.

Challenging Olympic Industry Power and Propaganda
Helen Lenskyj, University of Toronto professor
and author of Olympic Industry Resistance:
Challenging Olympic Power and Propaganda

5-6:30 pm, Monday, September 14, 2009

The IOC, Olympic Dreams, and the Media
Laura Robinson, Toronto-area freelance
journalist and writer
5-6:30 pm, Monday, September 28, 2009

The Hidden 4th Pillar of the Olympic Games:
Privatized Profit, Socialized Debt

Chris Shaw, University of British Columbia
professor and author of Five Ring Circus: Myths
and Realities of the Olympic Games

5-6:30 pm, Monday, October 5, 2009

Olympics on Unceded Indigenous Land
Gord Hill, Indigenous activist, webmaster,
and Member, Olympic Resistance Network
5-6:30 pm, Monday, October 19, 2009

How the Olympics Impact the Poor and Homeless
Laura Track, lawyer, Pivot Legal Society, Vancouver
5-6:30 pm, Monday, October 26, 2009

Olympic Security and Civil Liberties: A Lasting Legacy
David Eby, Acting Executive Director,
BC Civil Liberties Association
5-6:30 pm, Monday, November 2, 2009

The Myth of the Green Games
Harjap Grewal, The Council of Canadians, and
Member, No One Is Illegal and Olympic Resistance
Network; and Dustin Johnson, Indigenous Activist
5-6:30 pm, Monday, November 16, 2009

Understanding the Olympics as Part of Corporate Culture
Garth Mullins, Vancouver-area social justice
activist, researcher, and Member, Olympic
Resistance Network
5-6:30 pm, Monday, November 30, 2009

IOC Corruption: Would you take these people home
to meet your loved ones?

Andrew Jennings, British author of
The Great Olympic Swindle
5-6:30 pm, Monday, December 7, 2009