The University of Texas at Austin's H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports has been selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be an Olympic Studies Center (OSC).
It is only the second research facility in the nation to receive that distinction and has been named the Institute for Olympic Studies.
In order to become an OSC, the Stark Center first had to obtain the backing of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). When that was accomplished, the International Olympic Committee determined that the Stark Center had the staff and holdings to make significant contributions to the study of the Olympic movement.
A determining factor in the IOC's decision was the Stark Center's substantial and long-term study of doping in sport. Center Co-Directors Dr. Terry Todd and Dr. Jan Todd, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs Dr. Thomas Hunt, Dr. Kim Beckwith, associate editor of "Iron Game History" and center associates such as Dr. John Hoberman, professor of Germanic languages, have researched the topic extensively, and it's anticipated that being named an OSC will stimulate further research at The University of Texas at Austin on the Olympic movement.
Cindy Slater, the Stark Center's associate director of library services, served for more than 20 years as manager of library and archives for the U.S. Olympic Committee Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Dr. Terry Todd indicated there are plans to produce future publications on Olympic topics through the Todd book series with UT Press. The first book in that series, released in January, was Thomas Hunt's "Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping."
The Institute for Olympic Studies will generate journal articles, sponsor lectures and hold symposia. A group of faculty, students and staff affiliated with the Stark Center has partnered with members of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team to create an oral history of that year's games. The group has interviewed U.S. Olympic team members Tom Lough, Jim Moore and Doug Russell and has a slate of additional interviews set up through the spring of this year.
"We've wanted for some time to be able to establish a research entity focusing on the Olympic movement," said Dr. 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."
Founded by scholar-athletes Terry and Jan Todd, the 27,500-square-foot Stark Center is an internationally recognized research facility within the College of Education's Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. It is at the north end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and is open to scholars for research purposes, as well as to the public.