Olympic Education Website Used by Cap Students will be passed along with the Torch

After more than 100 years and 50 host cities of modern Olympic Games, Link BC has gotten the wheels turning to create a lasting legacy project that discusses the issues surrounding Games of past and present.

Link BC is a service organization that works with tourism and hospitality programs in British Columbia, and the e-Legacies site, which was launched on September 24. The site was made possible by collaboration between Capilano University, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University and funding from BCcampus. This free tool is meant to assist and encourage discussions about the Olympics, especially the 2010 games, in post-secondary classrooms.

Even before the e-Legacies site was launched, Capilano University has been at the forefront of Olympics-related learning, with students in two special sections of Current Issues in Business Administration learning international business with a Games-related curriculum focus.

The ‘Curriculympics’, as it has been nicknamed, are being taught by faculty members from both business and tourism, focusing on the Games from four different points of view, focusing on questions about legacy and how businesses can prepare for the Olympics.

“So now, while you’re taking the course, you can connect with a whole host of different sites,” says Graham Fane, Capilano’s Dean of the Faculty of Business.

Fane wrote out the two business courses – one set before the Olympics, and one set during. The second course involves European students coming to Capilano for the term to study, as well as be part of the Olympics.

Discussion topics on the website, which are presented in a non-biased format, range from tourism and marketing strategies on the business end of things, to social impacts such as Vancouver’s homelessness issue. Even with an available 47 topics to start with, there are still more to come, and easily downloadable PDF files allow anyone to review facts and questions. It is these discussion starters that are used in the classrooms and students debate the topics.

The discussions don’t have to have a solution, Fane says, “all it does is start them.”

Students and teachers are also encouraged to present their own discussion-encouraging topics.

The website also features links to other Olympic Websites, and even anti-Olympic Websites such as no2010.com to paint a full picture of the Games.

“It’s not like all of these topics are in favor of the Olympics,” Fane notes.

In fact, the program made the choice not to pursue VANOC endorsement at first.

“We didn’t want to be limited to what we could say about the Olympics…we thought VANOC’s endorsement might curtail that”.

Since it has been started, though, VANOC is now fully on board, and the 2012 Olympics in the U.K. have embraced the idea as well.

Following the games in February, B.C will hand E-Legacies over to the U.K. games to continue building on what has been started here.

Even as it travels from games to games, Fane concludes, “It’s still going to have the Cap University Logo on the front. We’re building our own legacy that’s going to have lasting values.”

For more information, visit http://elegacies.ca/2010

//Neil Vokey

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com