USC Experts Available on London Olympics

July 10, 2012

USC experts are available to comment on stories at the 2012 London Olympics, including preparations for the “biggest peacetime logistical exercise in British history,” the threat of terrorism, doping, and sports marketing and sponsorships. More than 35 Trojans will be competing in London.

Experts from the University of Southern California are available to comment on the 2012 London Olympics in the following areas:

Business and Media

DAVID CARTER, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at USC and author of Money Games, is available to discuss sponsorship and advertising, athlete marketing and endorsements, special event management, media coverage and reputation issues and the economics surrounding the Olympic Games. Contact Carter at (310) 316-8825 (office), (213) 434-1070 (cell), or

DANIEL T. DURBIN is director of the Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society, is available to discuss the Olympics as a media event, including projections for the television viewing audience, how social media is changing Olympic audience response and the Olympics’ role in international reputations for the United States and England. Contact Durbin at (310) 745-3996 (cell) or

The Threat of Terrorism

ERROLL SOUTHERS is a USC professor on counter-terrorism and associate director of the USC Homeland Security Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). Southers was involved in assessing security measures during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and can speak about security preparations currently underway in London. Contact Southers at (213) 740-3861 (office), (323) 816-8045 (cell) or

Sports Medicine

LESLIE SAXON, M.D., is the executive director of the USC Center for Body Computing and chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. The Center for Body Computing, which works with both USC and professional athletes, is one of the world’s leading research centers in sports monitoring technology that many athletes now use to train. Contact Saxon (310) 266-9193 (cell) or

JAMES TIBONE, M.D., holds the Moss Foundation Professorship in Sports Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He has been team physician for USC sports teams for the past 20 years and can answer questions about orthopedic sports medicine. Contact Tibone at (310) 614-9218 (cell) or

London’s Transit System

MARLON BOARNET, a professor with the USC Price School of Public Policy, is an expert on transportation policy and is available to assess how London’s transportation system handles the influx of visitors for the Olympic Games. “Every city that hosts the Olympics has to adjust their transportation system to meet the unique needs of an event that will create large flows of travel between a new pattern of origins and destinations, at new times of day, in a context where many travellers are visitors,” Boarnet said. “Add on top of that security concerns, and all cities that host the games have a detailed and short-term planning problem on their hands.” Contact Boarnet at (213) 740-3696 (office), (949) 547-1811 (cell) or

GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, is director of the METRANS Transportation Center and a professor with the USC Price School of Public Policy. She authored a landmark transportation study during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, which still informs how policy can achieve large reductions in traffic for limited, high profile events. Contact Giuliano at (213) 740-3956 or


RUTH WOOD, Ph.D., is professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her research investigates the addictive potential of steroids and their effects on behavior; she can discuss issues related to performance-enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids and testosterone in Olympic competition. Contact Wood at 323-442-1980 (office) or

E. TODD SCHROEDER, Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical physical therapy at USC, is an exercise physiologist who studies the influence of steroids on muscle and metabolism in humans. He also studies the effects of exercise on muscle fatigue, recovery and performance. Contact Schroeder at (323) 442-2498 (office), (626) 372-1890 (cell) or

USC Experts at the London Olympics

ALAN ABRAHAMSON of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will be in London to cover his seventh Olympic Games. A staff writer with the Los Angeles Times for 17 years, in London, Abrahamson will once again be the chief columnist for; he blogs about the Olympics at Contact Abrahamson at or text +1-424-233-0050 (international cell phone) after July 14.

Olympic Athletes as Celebrities

ELIZABETH CURRID-HALKETT, an associate professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy, is an expert on the making of celebrity. Author of Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity, Currid-Halkett can discuss how and why the Olympic Games catapult some athletes to stardom. “Because celebrity is such a visual industry and a visual phenomenon, a lot of it has to do with what they look like,” she said, adding that an outsized personality, good or bad, also often cultivates a public fascination. The public also tends to hold celebrity Olympians to a higher standard than actors or musicians, she says, noting Michael Phelps’ image suffered significantly after he was photographed with a marijuana pipe, behavior that is often forgiven for other celebrities. Contact Currid-Halkett at (917) 783-0503 or

Trojans Competing in the Olympics

USC has sent more athletes to the Olympic Games than any other university. From 1904 to 2008, there have been 396 athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic appearance. They have collected an unprecedented 123 gold, 78 silver and 61 bronze medals, including at least one gold medal in every summer Olympics from 1912. This year, more than 35 Trojans will be competing in the London Olympics in six sports and representing more than 15 countries. USC’s top prospects to keep its gold medal streak alive in 2012 are swimmer Rebecca Soni, track runners Allyson Felix and Bryshon Nellum, soccer’s Amy Rodriguez, water poloists Kami Craig, Lauren Wenger and Tumua Anae and volleyball’s Nicole Davis. For more information, contact the USC Sports Information Office at (213) 740-8480.

Contact: USC Media Relations at (213) 740-2215 or