While the 2022 Winter Olympics were limited in terms of competitors and guests, George Washington University faculty and alumni held a strong presence. GW School of Business Professor and Sport Management Program Director Lisa Delpy Neirotti traveled to Beijing in February to attend the Olympic Games for her 21st consecutive year. There, she connected with GW alumni working or competing within China's "closed-loop" system for sealing off the games from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prof. Neirotti first met with Trofym Anderson (MTA‘16) during the opening ceremony. Anderson works for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the games learning manager in the Department of Information, Knowledge and Games Learning (IKL). Prof. Neirotti also connected with Ke ("Helen") Yang (MTA ‘03), co-founder of iRock, during the short track speed skating event. iRock, a 4th tier sponsor of the Winter Olympic Games, is responsible for developing many of the apps used for health monitoring and accommodations for athletes. Neirotti then met with Yixing Dong (MSSM ‘19), a sports writer for Xinhua News Agency who was covering the Olympic games. Dong wrote several pieces on the Winter Olympics, including interviews with the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Her manager, Zhou Jie, is a former GW parent.
In the main media center, Prof. Neirotti met with Yvette Michael (BA ‘94), the coordinating producer and talent booking manager for the Olympic Channel, as well as Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, (BA ‘03), the former president of Croatia and a current IOC member. Two other GW alumni serve as IOC members: David Haggerty (BBA ‘79) and Princess Rema Bint Bandar Al-Saud (BA ‘99).
Prof. Neirotti connected with other alumni-athletes during her time in Beijing, including Elana Meyers Taylor (BS ’06, MTA ’11), who was competing for her 4th Olympic medal for the U.S. in bobsled, and alumnus Sidney Chu (BS ‘21), who was competing in the 500-meter short track for Hong Kong. Near the end of her trip, Prof. Neirotti also hosted a Zoom webinar with GW alumni living in China to share their experiences, discuss trending topics, and connect with one another.
Lisa Delpy Neirotti is the director of the MS in Sport Management Program and an associate professor of Sport Management at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). She has been a professor of sport, event and tourism management at the George Washington University for more than 30 years. In addition to teaching and research, she spearheads the nationally recognized SINC Conference and organizes international student experiences to the Summer and Winter Olympic Games and the World Cup. Supporters of Prof. Neirotti and the MS in Sport Management program can make a donation here to allow the program to continue to offer unique courses and experiences, attract the best students, and remain globally competitive and highly ranked.