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Cooperation leads to unique Olympic Opportunity

Cooperation leads to unique Olympic Opportunity

It’s not just elite athletes who will be taking part in this year’s Olympic Celebrations in Greece. Victoria University honours student Geoff Ardell, will also be there, thanks to an agreement between Victoria University and the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

Geoff Ardell is the first New Zealander to participate in the International Olympic Academy’s seminar on Olympic Studies for Postgraduate Students, which will be attended by 35-40 selected students from throughout the world and held in Olympia during June and July.

Victoria University and the New Zealand Olympic Committee have signed a Cooperation Agreement in Olympic Studies, which has helped to facilitate Geoff’s application.

The seminar is a forum for study into the Olympic Philosophy (Olympism), the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games. These studies involve both the Ancient Games and contemporary Olympic issues. In its 12th year, the seminar has proven a unique catalyst in Olympic Studies, having encouraged academic interest from all over the world.

A graduate of Victoria’s Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies in 2003, Geoff is enrolled in the Classics honours programme and is studying Latin literature and classical history. He also participated in the annual field trip to Greece, run by the Classics programme in 2003. This trip involved an intensive course of study on the archaeology of all the major Greek sites, including the major ancient games sites. The trip also inspired his thesis topic: The Olympic Games and State Formation in Ancient Greece.

Geoff is thrilled to be given this chance to return to Greece, and was particularly excited when he realised he will be the first New Zealander to attend the seminar.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to visit Greece again while I am still studying,” he says.

“This trip will really help me with my thesis work on state formation and the Olympic Games – and it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience the buzz of the modern Games as well.”

The New Zealand Olympic Committee and Olympic Solidarity (the division of the IOC that assists National Olympic Committees) will provide the resources to make this opportunity possible for Geoff.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee is particularly pleased that Geoff has been selected to attend and feel sure that he will have a unique Olympism-based learning experience.

When Geoff returns from Greece in July, he will continue his research and tutoring at Victoria, and plans to investigate some further postgraduate opportunities.

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