Experts available to comment on Rio 2016 Olympics

Aug. 1, 2016


Elaine Justice

Megan McRainey

Melva Robertson


Sports marketing, rising Olympic stars

Mike Lewis, associate professor of marketing at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, can discuss how the marketing landscape has changed for today’s Olympic athletes versus those of past decades.

Gone are the days when the Olympic athlete with the best performance—like Mary Lou Retton—shot to stardom and got her picture on a Wheaties cereal box. Today, says Lewis, it has become more common for corporations to choose athletes “and shape them into a high-profile presence.”

And because of juggernaut sports leagues such as the NFL or NBA in the United States, or FIFA worldwide, “sports interests have become concentrated,” says Lewis. “These leagues have expanded to almost year-round in terms of how they stay top of mind. Have we reached a point where there’s not enough room for an Olympic athlete to break through?”


Media Contacts: Elaine Justice,, 404-727-0643

J. Michael Moore:, 404-727-1017

Brazilian politics, protests and history

Jeffrey Lesser, professor of history at Emory University, can discuss modern politics and protests in Brazil, as well as the country’s history of political protests. Lesser is currently living in São Paulo and has spent time attending and studying Brazilian protests.

The Olympic Games have sparked protests in Brazil, related to the impeachment trial of President Dilma Rousseff and anger over money spent on hosting the games. The protests have even eclipsed the excitement of the games themselves, Lesser says. "These protests are not any different than the past protests but are being motivated now by two things – first, it looks like the impeachment votes may take place in the next month (although every step of the way has judicial challenges) and because the eyes of the world are on Brazil because of the Olympics."


Media Contact: Megan McRainey,, 404-727-6167

Brazil’s economy, infrastructure challenges

Tom Smith, assistant professor of finance at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, can comment on Brazil’s economic and infrastructure challenges related to the Olympic Games. Smith has travelled to Rio several times to meet with the Rio Olympic Committee.


Media Contacts: Megan McRainey,, 404-727-6167

J. Michael Moore:, 404-727-1017

Water- and food-borne diseases

Amy Kirby, assistant professor of global health and environmental health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, has 15 years of research experience in infectious diseases. She specializes in using the tools of molecular microbiology to address questions of epidemiological significance, specifically in the area of water- and food-borne disease. Her current research is focused on the transmission and detection of norovirus. 


Media Contact: Melva Robertson,, 404-727-5692

Travel medicine

Phyllis Kozarsky, MD, professor of medicine (infectious diseases), Emory University School of Medicine, is Medical Director of TravelWell, a clinic that serves individuals who are traveling internationally with health advice and education, immunizations and/or medicines to prevent disease; post-travel illness; global health, migration and quarantine; tropical medicine; and the epidemiology of travel related infections and infectious diseases. She is a co-founder of the International Society of Travel Medicine and a principal investigator of GeoSentinel, a network of 54 clinics internationally that track trends in travel-related occurrence of diseases. Kozarsky is also an expert consultant to the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine in travelers’ health with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TravelWell Website:

Media Contact: Janet Christenbury,, 404-227-4785

Environmental exposures

Dana Barr, associate professor of environmental health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, has conducted research in the U.S. and Latin America on environmental exposures and can discuss the consequences of a variety of environmental exposures.


Media Contact: Melva Robertson,, 404-727-5692

Sports-related injury and recovery

Emory Sports Medicine Center physicians treat patients with a full spectrum of orthopedic and sports-related injuries, serving patients ranging from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Emory sports medicine physicians are team doctors for the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Georgia Tech. They can discuss player injuries, training, hydrations and various sports-medicine-related topics. For a complete listing of experts, see:


Media Contact: Melva Robertson,, 404-727-5692

Sports cardiology

Jonathan Kim, MD, assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine, is a sports cardiologist who directs a cardiology clinic at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, where he and his colleagues evaluate and treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions specific to athletes of all ages and levels. 


Media Contact: Jennifer Johnson,, 404-727-5696