Friday, July 27, 2012

Best of Luck to the Olympians and What They Teach Us

The day has arrived and the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be taking place tonight in London, England. I hope to catch the parade, although I will be watching from the US and not from Europe.

The excitement is palpable not only because of the venue but the scale of these games.

What fascinates me, besides the athletes, their hard work, and the support from their coaches, family members, and friends (plus all the individual stories and journeys taken to reach this point), is the logistics behind the games and the transportation impacts.

I purchased the above official 2012 Summer Olympic t-shirt, which I am displaying in honor of all the athletes, in London Heathrow Airport, when I was waiting for my connecting flight back to Boston last March, after my stay at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. 

I also spent the full month of June in Gothenburg, and met another Visiting Professor, Dr. Michael Browne, who is from the United Kingdom. He is a transportation and logistics expert, and was involved in transportation planning for these Olympic Games! How exciting is this?! There has been a lot of discussion in the news about the possible impacts on transportation and congestion (and I don't just mean the lost bus-driver who took Olympic athletes on an extended bus journey because he could not find his way to the Olympic Village).

What I especially appreciate about the athletes is their focus, hard work and dedication, plus that they follow their dreams. In times of impatience, restlessness, numerous distractions,  and pressure from all sorts of different constituents, we can all learn from these Olympic athletes.

And for those who almost made their country's Olympic team, but, not quite (as one of my neighbors in Amherst almost did, but got injured during the diving  finals), you are already great successes.

Now, for a nice writeup on our sports management program at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and our graduates who are contributing to the games, in auxiliary ways, see this article.

And, thanks to my fellow blogger, Dr. Laura McLay, for even identifying an Olympic athlete with a degree in Operations Research!

For photos of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, provided by our friends, the Wassermans, whom we met while we were living in Stockholm, Sweden,  see this blogpost.