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Sport Management

Our visit to the Korean 1988 Olympic Grounds

I cannot say that I have seen a stadium more majestic or amazing than what we saw last week. The experience we had at the 1988 Olympic facilities, was nothing short of amazing. I am excited to share thoughts from Courtney Gold, a Sport Management major. Her story is touching and I hope you are moved by it and that she conveys to you how powerful of an experience this was for us. Following Courtney is a piece from Derick Margerum regarding the same venue. He mentions how we were even allowed to run on the olympic track! Enjoy this post from Courtney and Derick.

-Chris Lebens


After being in Korea for almost two weeks now I am slowly beginning to adjust to the culture, food and weather. Being a picky eater, I am proud to say that I have tried foods I would not have tried in the states. Besides trying new food I have had the privilege to visit places that I would have never had imagined. I have been able to see places such as the 1988 Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, Olympic Memorial Museum, and the Korean Olympic Training Center.

On Tuesday July 1, 2014 the group made the trip out to the 1988 Olympic Stadium. Now this was something I was excited to see due to the history of Korea and their efforts to inspire their country after years of economic tragedy. After South Korea was annexed from Japan in 1910, they were left in economic ruins. The Korean people were hungry and looked upon as a hopeless country. When they were granted the 1988 Olympics in 1980, there was a sense of hope. Walking up to the stadium I tried to picture what it would be like when the stadium was being built. I then tried to feel the emotion of those who were able to actually experience the moment of the opening ceremonies. The excitement and joy of the Korean people must have gone beyond leaps and bonds. Beyond the actual emotions of the people it must have been an amazing sight to see what the country of Korea could do when given the opportunity to host the 1988 Olympics. Seeing the outside of the stadium I was impressed to see how advanced South Korea was in their architecture. It was also interesting to see the effort that was made and the money spent to make this event a success. In the states we see more focus on professional sport athletes, rather than amateur athletes. Once we were able to enter the Olympic Stadium I could not believe how big it was on the inside. Just imagining the opening ceremony and the screaming fans in the seats of the stadium is an unreal experience. Below I was able to take a step back and capture the inside of the Olympic Stadium and get the chance to go onto the track and field. Having this opportunity is one of many that I will receive on this trip that I will never be able to forget about it.


Now moving on, July 2, 2014 was the day the group made the trip out to the Korean Olympic Training Facility. This was a moment to remember because this training facility is not open to the public. Knowing this I did my best to soak in all the amazing things I was about to see. One of the first places we went into was the athlete’s training room. I have been in gyms before, which many of us have, but nothing like the one we were about to see. It was huge, offering the best equipment to all the Korean athletes who had the opportunity to train in this facility. A few of us then saw some climbing ropes and thought we would give it a shot and see how high we could climb up.

ropesNeedless to say I personally did not do that well. It was definitely a funny experience because I realized that it was more difficult than I imagined. It gave the others and myself in the group a good laugh and something we can remember upon our return home. Most of the buildings we went into were empty because the majority of the athletes were on their break, but we than walked in on a women’s handball practice.

handballBefore walking in we were told to be quiet because there was a practice going on. I did not think we were going to see any athletes training, so seeing this was a great treat. As mentioned prior I noticed that there were some differences in the way the United States conducted sport from Korea. Korea definitely took more time, money and effort in making their amateur athletes a success in not only the Olympics, but the Asian games as well. This particular day I felt extremely special because many people will never be able to experience what I had that day. I saw actual amateur athletes in training and the facilities that made them a success. I will never forget what I was offered and could never express enough gratitude to those who made this trip to the Olympic Training Facility possible.

Just in the short week and a half that I have been in South Korea I have had the opportunity to see and do things that many could never dream of. As the days and weeks progress I will further report on the many new experiences. I am beyond grateful that I was able to go on this trip to see and experience things with the group of people that are here with me! Without them, this trip would not be the same and I would not have gained the memories I have received thus far. Go Cougs!

Now from Derick Margerum, Sport Management major.

Happy 4th of July from Seoul, South Korea! We have been in Seoul for almost ten days now and this experience has been a blast so far. What I like about Seoul is that there are always things to do whether its visiting historical sites, stadiums, and markets you name it and this city probably has it.

During the first couple weeks of the trip I got really got to see what Seoul is all about. I am somewhat of a picky eater, but coming into this trip I knew I was going to have to expand my horizons and try new food. For example, on one of the first few days eating in the cafeteria we had squid for breakfast! This shocked me because I don’t like seafood and I was sure they wouldn’t have it for breakfast, but it actually was not that bad. Squid for breakfast was just another unique food that was offered here in this culture, so I had to be prepared on what food came at me next. Many of the adventures led to us exploring the vast array of street markets that sold a variety of things from food to jewelry, and we even enjoyed some fun at Lotte world amusement park.

The main reason why I wanted to come over here was to experience the sports culture, and explore the many stadiums and facilities that Seoul has. On Tuesday we visited the Olympic Stadium site as well as the park. The Olympic Stadium was a majestic beauty right in the heart of the city. It was a little run down but it was very similar in look to the Los Angeles Coliseum, and spewed great Olympic history. Carl Lewis raced at the Olympic Stadium where he won gold in the 100 meters and long jump in 1988 (Sports Reference, 2014). We were fortunate enough to enter the stadium, and just the thought of being inside a stadium where the greatest athletes in the participated was a surreal experience. The group decided it would be awesome to run a lap around the track, and I did my best Carl Lewis imprecation when I finished. Inside the Olympic Park there is a museum adjacent to the stadium that contains historical artifacts from all the Olympics and that was really interesting. It was really awesome to go to an Olympic site for the first time to learn and experience what it was like back in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

I have learned a lot about South Korea in the week and half we have been here. I hope to gain better insight about sport and culture in Korea, and I am excited for the upcoming opportunities in the next few weeks.

More to come!

More from Korea.

By criminal justice major Tipton Hayes

Visiting Korea, has been a great experience. I have always been a transit- and walking-to-your-destination type of person. As we started are experience it was a one and half hour drive from the airport to our new place on the other side of Seoul. It was nice to take a cab from the airport but, given the copious amount of transportation options that Seoul, has. I was looking forward to taking the rail into the university.

I love being able to walk down to the subway system and hop on a rail car and be there quickly. It has been a great experience to be on the subway and meet with Koreans. I also love that you can use the internet on a rail car. I think that is fantastic. Korean phones also have TV on them. Accessible transportation to sport venues is essential in order to provide quick entry and fast egress once the event is completed. My photos were taken at Doota mall, overlooking Dondgaemun History and Culture park. Dongdaemun subway stop is a few blocks away from these to fabulous places located in Euljiro. There are many shops in this area of town you can get anything very cheaply and even bargain the price down. This is also a site of a baseball stadium it has now been repurposed after artifacts were found. A museum is also there to show case many of the old equipment from the stadium and player memorabilia. The space was very tiny but, seemed full of items from the 1920, 30, 40 and etcetera.

Hopping from metro to train, bus, or cab has been extremely simple. One can even use their bus card for a cab fare. This to me shows to me that the systems are very intelligently integrated. I have yet to take a cab that had a fare more then $7.

Everyday our professors have planned out an event, even if we do not visit a sport facility there are many event management areas in play. We have been lucky to receive personal tours from the palaces that we visit. It takes a while to learn about the venues and I really appreciate how knowledgeable the staff are when listening to them tell us about the venue or when I ask questions.

A track athlete’s perspective of Korean olympic stadium

By WSU track athlete Indigo Williams

Today, the sport management group and I got to travel to the 1988 World Olympic Stadium. When we arrived to the stadium we were able to walk around and look at what an Olympic stadium really entailed both inside and outside. This athletics facility grabbed my attention in so many different ways that at first I was over whelmed with joy but then with a little bit of disappointment.

I personally was amazed at how big the venue was, but actually very shocked by how run down the outside looked. When looking at the pictures and statues of some of the best athletes in the world, I found myself asking one question, “why does this place look like no one cares for it?” After talking with the group we were then told that this facility does not get money from the government to help with the upkeep. One would think that this facility and the people who run it would want to show pride in the athletes who brought their country fame. I think that it is sad that these athletes’ pictures are in such bad shape and some even vandalized. I guess maybe I was just thinking that these athletes should be portrayed in more of a way that shows respect and lets younger generations know who they are and what they did. As for the inside of the stadium, now that was a little bit different, the grass was well kept and even the seating looked new. I mean I even ran a lap around the track and admired what it felt like to be running on the same track as an Olympian.

After hanging around on the track and taking some photos, the group and I went over to “The Hope Factory” which is the 1988 interactive exhibition about the Olympic values. Here we were able to go through about forty different exercises that taught us about the Olympics. This was a great experience, and I really did learn more about the prejudices and simple stereotypes that are associated with the Olympics. Some of the questions that we were asked I never really thought about before, like when they asked if “by being in a wheel chair made one of the Olympians disabled?” To me I see that person not as being a disable athlete but a contestant in the Olympics. In this factory there are many different hands on activities that linked all back to one common thing, the Olympics. Our group got the privilege to ride in a 4D simulator while watching Kim Yu-Na, who is an Olympic medalist. From there we went down the museum that held all of the different artifacts and statues made of the different all time athletes in 1988. This room was filled with a piece of something from each event in Olympics it felt like. Though the main focus was on the 1988 Olympics, this building was only a small part of the Olympic history.

From The Hope Factory, we went to an amusement park called Lotte world. I feel like I have to tell you about our adventure here because I was able to go on one of the tallest free falling drops ever, well I mean it was only seventy meters high but it felt like the tallest and longest drop ever. This ride was awesome, you get on and as you are rising to the top you are doing a complete 360 degree rotation, getting what feels like a full view of Seoul. You are up there for about five seconds and then drop going about one hundred kilometers an hour. The best part about this ride was I got to gopro the entire thing. It was awesome.
All in all I got to experience being in an Olympic facility first hand and I only have one other goal, and that would be to go to a facility when there is actually a real life Olympics going on. But I am really happy that I got this opportunity and I cannot wait to share my next activity with you guys.

Sport Management Students Arrive in Korea

Untitled Untitled2By Nick Frisk, sport management student (with intro from Chris Lebens, assistant clinical professor)

Well, we have arrived. Cougs are in Korea. I can attest that the pilot was amazing for 10 hours in the air. During the 30 min decent
Seoul, well… lets just say he landed safely so no complaints from the Cougs. For those that don’t know, I am Chris Lebens, J.D.
Assistant Professor in the college of education. Dr. Yong-Chae Rhee and myself are abroad with the WSU COE first study
abroad. We are
currently in Seoul and will travel every 2 weeks across the country to other universities. I cannot speak for all of our
students as to their
experience, so I have assigned them to tell us all about it. Today’s post comes from Nicholas (Nick) Frisk, a senior
in Sport Management at
WSU. Please, enjoy his story.


For those of you who don’t know that is hello in South Korean. It’s very surreal to be half way around the world experiencing a new culture, a new set of ideas and seeing a new place. Though the first week has been much of experiencing the culture of Korea the group has done a little bit of exploring for sport related land marks. Seoul Tech University is a rather small university in comparison to Washington State University but it still has a decent sized sport program. In one of our first classes we took a short field trip to their soccer stadium and sport complex. Luckily for us the stadium and the entire complex was under renovation just like the Washington State football and soccer complexes. We walked around the area watched the workers and looked at the differences of the new stadium. This is what we could take away from this experience.

The most prevalent thing that caught the group’s attention was how unsecured the entire construction area was. This speaks to the difference in cultural beliefs of how citizens are expected to act. The only thing holding people back from entering the construction zone was a small red and white caution tape (see below). As everyone who has explored the Martin Stadium renovations, or even a normal construction site in the United States, knows that at the very least a large fence is put in the way to keep people out. Korean people are raised to show respect to everything from the people they interact with to the places they go and what they do there. If United States construction companies tried to use this small strip of tape to hold out community members we would have so many more construction related injuries and lawsuits. Korean people know not to go into restricted areas therefore construction companies do not have to be so careful with how protected areas are.

Also while exploring the construction area we walked past a gentleman welding part of the stadium. Normally this would not be an oddity but we noticed that he did not have any eye protection on as he was watching the welding from a few inches away. From this one can deduce that there is not a strong emphasis on personal safety in Korean construction just yet.

As far as sport related oddities and/or similarities go, we noticed a few very obvious features. The complex is set up very similarly to a high school football field. The soccer pitch was in the middle of an Olympic sized track with a lifted  cement structure to become the stadium seating on one side. This is very similar to many multiuse facilities in the United States.

However two things struck us as odd at this particular track and soccer pitch. One of these was the lack of a throwing area for the track team. We speculated about where it might be or if it took place out on the soccer pitch but it is possible that we missed one option. Throwing may not be a big thing here in Korea like it is in the states. If there is one thing that is easy to notice about Korean people it is their body size. Not many Korean people are built large enough to compete against the Americas and European people in throwing events. It might not be an emphasized set of events at the national level therefore it may just be nonexistent at a relatively small university. The second thing we noticed was the soccer field was specifically painted for soccer. For being located in such a big multi-purpose area we kind of expected other lines to be painted on the field but that was not the case

We made a couple of other stops in the multipurpose area. Next to the track and soccer pitch there is a wide expanse of sand and dirt that had many different things to do. There were places to hit baseballs, take part in an unofficial soccer game, play some basketball and it even had a few tennis courts. Basketball is an interesting sport here because if there is an area of flat ground there is most likely a basketball hoop nearby. The group visited a mall the other day and just outside the mall there was a random court yard with a hoop that anyone could play a pick-up game on. Even the soccer pitch had fully functional courts at either end that anyone and everyone could access.

The last thing that really caught my attention was how easy it was to access this particular area. In a later visit to the area I was able to watch how many different people were using the facility after they removed the construction tape. They definitely were not all college students since. Young middle school and high school aged kids were playing basketball by the soccer pitch. Toddlers were playing with their parents near parallel bars. Even I was able to run on the track less than week after our original visit. The fact that a place like this was accessible to the entire community was an incredible concept to me. Very few places in the United States are accessible to the entire public so soon after construction for upgrades occur. We do not know how many official events take place there but with continuous use it would force a sport manager’s hand to keep the facility up to date more often. In the US we would rather spend money up front to keep people out of the facilities than to update them more often.

Our small little class field trip was our first experience with international sport facilities. In many ways it was not that much different from those of the United States yet the ideas surrounding its use can be very different. Soon we will be seeing large scale sporting venues that could potentially trump anything we have ever experienced, even back home. It only gets better from here, stay tuned.

In the months leading up to this trip I had to constantly explain to friends, family and even a Subway sandwiches worker we were going to Korea and why. The most common responses were why?, oh fun!, and North or South? Well thank goodness we ended up in SOUTH Korea because it has been an amazing experience thus far.

In the first week here we have seen so many different things that there is way too much to write about. When I get overwhelmed I like to think about food because food is good. Coincidentally South Korea has some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure of eating. There are three different types of food that must be discussed to really understand what a Korean travelers diet is all about. These are Korean barbeque, street food and dorm food. All are equally intriguing, mysterious and flat out delicious. So let us explore Korean food for a while.

Since it has been and will be our most frequently dining place it is only fair that we dive into the university’s dining hall food first. South Korea is not a place where picky eaters can visit and survive. I was one of those picky eaters coming into this trip and had to learn really quickly to just go for it. One of our students summed it well by saying the dining hall is the best place to eat because it forces you try different foods instead of being able to pick and choose what you want. So far the menu has dishes such as squid, kale, a curry type dish, anchovies, bean sprouts, tofu, rice, a lot of rice and even more soup. There have been maybe one or two different dishes that I have not thoroughly enjoyed while eating at the dining hall. Being forced to open your mind to taste different things is awesome because you have to lose all inhibitions and just dive in. I have discovered a liking for kale, radishes, small squid, beans sprouts and way too much more to list out. All in all, dorm food is awesome here.

While being forced to try new things is probably the best thing to happen to a picky eater, I do have to say it is nice to choose what you really want to eat. Seoul has a large number of outdoor markets unlike anything I have ever experienced in the United States. With these outdoor markets comes the novelty of street food. As a group we make an effort to find random little markets solely for the purpose of finding that next street food gem. My first experience was this massive ice cream tube. It cannot be called a cone because literally they have a cone tube that they filled from the inside out with some of the best ice cream I have had. It was in the shape of a candy cane yet, surprisingly, tasted so much better. Then while walking around the other night three of us stopped at a little chicken shish kabob stand. It started as a snack for one, and turned into all three of us buying the chicken and not being able to stop talking about it for the next ten minutes as we found a cab back home. Our single best meal so far though happened when we split up in this massive street market and just ate whatever we found. It started with corndogs laced with french fries on the outside and smothered in sauces. Then we felt bad so we picked up some fresh fruit and some other small snack I cannot remember. Before I can tell the next part though you must understand how much walking we did that day. We easily walked fifteen to twenty miles that day with very little time relaxing. So to congratulate ourselves we finished the night with a waffle cream ice sandwich. Before you ask not it is not ‘ice cream sandwich,’ it is cream ice. They start by making the waffles in front of you then spreading this thick creamy substance (mine was cherry flavored) across one half of the waffle and putting a scoop of vanilla and chocolate ice cream on the other side. They topped it off with some chocolate chips and then folded it over into a warm, creamy, delicious sandwich. It is and probably will be the best dessert I will ever eat in my entire life. The only regret I have is eating it in about 2 minutes and not going back for a second one. I’m sure many of our readers will have been to an exotic street market or something similar to what I am talking about here but you will never understand the excitement I feel eating this food. This is my first visit to a foreign country other than Canada, so experimenting with this food is amazing to me.

The last type of food I want to discuss is Korean barbeque. This is such an interesting concept for me because there is a large stone grill placed in the middle of the table. You order meat, Kim chi, a vegetable usually, some garlic and some sauces. Now some places have these large grills or woks on the table but they cook it for you. At the barbeque place we visited the people at the table had to cook it to individuals liking which is great because not everyone can do rare meat or even well done meat. In order to eat everything we were instructed to take a large piece of lettuce put everything inside and make a wrap out of it. The great thing about this type of food is that it is all freshly made on fresh vegetables. This stuff is so good and even somewhat healthy for you. This was close to being my favorite meal, but it is a close second to street food.

Communicating Korea

Tandem to stay in touch with those in the states

By C. Brandon Chapman
College of Education

They have a packed agenda. They plan to blog. They plan to vlog. They plan to podcast. They plan to tweet.

The only question now is when they plan to sleep.

With slightly less than two weeks before College of Education professors Yong Chae Rhee and Chris Lebens take a small group of sport management students to South Korea for a six-week study abroad, the duo has outlined some of their plans for communicating back to the states.

The two main highlights include:

  • Frequent updates here on the college’s blog, EduCoug. Rhee and Lebens will both write and embed video. They’ll be taking a GoPro Hero 3+ to visually document the trip, and they’ll embed videos in the blog. There’s an off chance Lebens may run a half or full marathon with the GoPro attached.
  • They’ll be tweeting like there’s no tomorrow. They’ll be using #CougsInKorea to join people together in common discussion.

Here’s a previous WSU News article that was written about the trip:

Talented teachers, future and present

Jenna Michels multi-tasks as she chats with T&L Department Chair Cori Mantle-Bromley

It’s that time of year when elementary education majors show their semester’s work of designing lesson plans, which is a prerequisite for next fall’s student teaching assignments.  Those in Pullman talked about their lesson plans, and career plans, at a poster session on Monday.  Jenna Michels of Spokane was showing off not only  her lesson plan for kindergartners, but also her daughter, who was born in March.  Suffice it to say, Jenna had an intensive spring semester.  See more photos here.

Awards for two special teachers

Delores “Dee” Baumgartner (’73 M.Ed.) is the first recipient of the Miller-Manchester Teacher Mentor Award. The longtime Pullman kindergarten teacher will be presented the honor at the College of Education’s Homecoming Scholarship and Excellence Event on Oct. 10.  Dee will receive $800, a plaque, a leaf on the Legacy Tree, tickets to the homecoming game … and a whole lot of gratitude for providing outstanding mentoring, coaching, and nurturing for many WSU practicum students and student teachers.

Megan Itani (’02 B.A.) a Pullman special education teacher, is one of two recipients of the 2009 Educating the Whole Child Award.  Megan is working on her master of education degree at WSU.  She’ll represent the dry side of the state when she picks up her award in Seattle at the Oct. 9 conference of the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Budget woes

State budget cuts have made these times that try educators’ souls.  At the College of Education, passions are running especially high over the proposed closure of our Sport Management program.  The EduCoug would be remiss not to acknowledge the grief and controversy.  But given plenty of media attention on the subject, and college/university venues for staying informed (see Dean Mitchell’s column and the provost’s budget page), this blog will continue its focus on the ongoing good work at the COE.  Don’t forget that the provost’s page has a form for submitting input.  And there’s an old-fashioned forum known as letters to the editor…

swine-flu-21On a less serious note:
A nose for tomfoolery

Faculty member Jim Williamson went up to a pharmacy window and asked if any swine flu medication was available.  Looking like this.  (His science methods classes must be lots of fun.)

Heads up, sports fans

Be watching for a late-April announcement of the first fellowships awarded to Masters in Teaching students by Edgar and Holli Martinez, who through their Martinez Foundation are on a mission to increase the number of teachers of color in our schools.  The winners will be honored at the Seattle Mariners’ June 6 “Latinos in Beisbol” game.  Put on your crimson T-shirt and cheer them on. Each ticket bought through this link will result in $7 going to support the foundation’s efforts.

Speaking of sports…
Assistant Professor John Wong of our sport management faculty scored in the publishing scene with his chapter in The Chicago Sports Reader, “a celebration of the strong, the agile, and the tricky.”  John’s chapter is about the founding of the Chicago Blackhawks Professional sport-bookHockey Team. It uses literature in entrepreneurship as a framework in examining why the Chicago team succeeded when some of the other NHL teams folded during or shortly after the Great Depression. Of 20 chapters submitted to the editors, John’s was one of 13 chosen. I asked him how he got involved with the literary project. His reply:
“I got an e-mail about a couple of years ago from one of the editors – a fellow sport historian. He told me he and another sport historian were going to work on an anthology of sport in Chicago. They had started gathering contributors but then realized they did not have a chapter on hockey. Since Chicago had one of the oldest franchises in the NHL, they felt that hockey should be included. Because hockey is one of my research interests (and they know that from my conference presentations and publications), they approached me to take on the chapter. At the time, I did not know who the other contributors were. Now that I have received my copy of the book, I realize that the editors have recruited some of the big names in sport history. And, of course, I am very flattered and humbled by their invitation for me to participate.

By the way, John and his colleagues have ventured into the blogosphere with SMANET, a way to connect sport management alumni.

Reading matter
Washington Senate passes major education reform bill.
The state could eventually pay more for basic education under a bill passed by the state Senate on Thursday. Just how the state will find money for that obligation, however, is still far from certain.
UW is getting a big demotion
. Scarcely any state, even those with worse economies, is planning to cut higher education funding more than the Washington Legislature.
Don’t Just Rebuild Schools—Reinvent Them Prakash Nair writes, “What may be great for bridges and highways may be exactly the wrong thing for schools.”
Appreciation: Judith Krug. Defending the freedom to read from damaging assaults by censors in and out of government was a life’s work.